YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar - Winter 2023
Online Economic History Seminars with EHES
January 2023 - April 2023
The Winter 2023 series of the Economic History Graduate Webinar
The call for papers and extended abstracts is closed, but you can still attend as a general participant.
Apply before: 3/21/23, 00:00
We are launching the sixth edition of the YSI-EHES Economic History Graduate Webinar this Winter. As in previous editions, we provide a platform for young researchers to present their ongoing work and get feedback from senior scholars. The online format has made exchanges from people from different regions and research areas possible, offering early stage researchers an important venue.
If you are interested in attending the webinar and receiving the programme, please register using this form (it is not necessary to register again if you did so for previous editions). The seminars will be held on Zoom and last 60 minutes on Tuesdays afternoon (Western European time) during January, February and March. Registered participants will receive a zoom link 24h before the event.
We encourage all young scholars to also join the YSI community.
The programme goes as follows:
January 31th. Aina Palarea Marimon, European University Institute (EUI): “Silk, Luxury and Social Emulation” to “When did silk become a luxury fabric for the middling sort? The consumption of luxury textiles in fifteenth-century Catalonia”.
February 7th. Jeongkyung Won, Sogang University: *"Paving the Road to Prosperity? Infrastructure Investments and the Bottleneck to Growth"*
February 14th. Julius Koschnick, London School of Economics (LSE): "Breaking Tradition: Teacher-Student Effects at English Universities during the Scientific Revolution".
February 21st. Moritz Lubczyk, University of Zurich (UZH): "The Causal Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution: Evidence from Socialist East Germany".
February 28th. Peiyuan Li, University of Colorado Boulder: “Who Lost (or Won) China? Land Reform and War Mobilization"
March 7th (10am). Matteo Sestito, Aix-Marseille School of Economics: "Crop cycles and hierarchy: the agro-ecological origins of the state"
March 14th. Pablo Sánchez-Cataldo, Universidad de Santiago: "Patents and Technology Gaps during the Early Industrialization (1870–1910)"
March 21th. Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri, London School of Economics (LSE): "Can female education explain the fertility decline?"
If you have any question or feedback, please email us at email@example.com. We will get in touch with you as soon as we can.
See you online!
The YSI-EHES graduate seminar in Economic history is a joint collaboration between Maxence Castiello, Ana Catelén, Viktor Malein and Carla Salvo with support from The Young Scholars Initiative, from the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York and the European Historical Economics Society (EHES). Organizational details are subject to change.
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There are no upcoming events in this project.
7 Feb 2023
Jeongkyung Won, M.A. in Economics from the Sogang University, School of Economics, South Korea, will present "Paving the Road to Prosperity? Infrastructure Investments and the Bottleneck to Growth" Abstract:Can infrastructure investments that promote local economic activities now reduce them later? To answer this question, I explore the historical context of South Korea, in which the government dramatically expanded paved connections to rural areas. I combine historical maps and deep learning to restore paved road networks. Then, I measure changes in rural areas’ market access to cities by calculating the least travel costs to cities. I find that the rural areas that experienced relatively larger increases in accessibility to cities are less developed today than the other rural areas at the time. I show that the paved connection to cities induced the rural areas to specialize in agriculture in inter-regional trade, which did not lead to industrial diversification into other sectors afterward.Learn more
14 Feb 2023
Julius Koschnick, PhD Candidate from LSE will present his paper Breaking Tradition: Teacher-Student Effects at English Universities during the Scientific Revolution Abstract: While teacher student effects in conveying a fixed curriculum have been widely studied, the effect of teachers on the direction of research at the knowledge frontier has received less attention. This paper studies teacher effects on students’ future research at the time of the English Scientific Revolution. Specifically, it investigates how teachers passed on their interest in the Scientific Revolution which broke with traditional perspectives on explaining the natural world. The paper introduces a novel dataset on the universe of all 111,242 students at English universities in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century. It then matches university students and university teachers to all publications in the seventeenth and eighteenth century as well as membership lists of the Royal Society. Using natural language processing techniques for students’ and teachers’ publication titles, the paper is able to quantify personal interest in different research topics. Based on student exposure to teachers at the college level, the paper finds that teachers strongly influenced the research of their students, both for traditional topics and topics associated with the Scientific Revolution. The paper further finds that adopting the new ideas of the Scientific Revolution was helped by students’ exposure to a greater degree of diversity in teachers’ research topics, independent of whether the research was on the Scientific Revolution or traditional topics. The paper presents new microdata on the universe of all 111,242 students and teachers at English universities in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century and matches them to published titles of the English Short Title Catalogue. Through using dynamic topic modelling, the paper is able to identify different research topics associated with the published titles. It then shows that exposure to teachers publishing on topics of the Scientific Revolution increased a student’s likelihood to publish on topics of the Scientific Revolution as well. It further shows that a high diversity of teachers’ research topics, independent of whether they were part of the Scientific Revolution or not, increased students’likelihood to adopt topics of the Scientific Revolution. The paper argues that this is due to the weakening the perceived dominance of tradition. Lastly, it shows that exposure to topics of the Scientific Revolution made students more likely to be elected as a fellow of the Royal Society. Thus, exposure to new ideas of the Scientific Revolution during their studies at the English universities seems both to have contributed to students’ future research as well as their likelihood of becoming a part of the social movement that promoted the Scientific Revolution. To causally identify teacher-student effects, the paper relies on a natural experiment based on the parliamentary visitations of the University of Oxford after the Civil War: In 1648, victorious parliament expelled half of all old Oxford fellows and intruded new fellows from outside into the vacant places at the colleges. The quasi-random distribution of “scientific” fellows within the newly intruded fellows is then used for a difference-in-difference approach. Furthermore, the paper introduces a shift-share instrument that predicts students’ choice of colleges based on the historically strong local links between colleges and English regions. Overall, the paper presents new evidence on the importance of personal teacher-student interaction and intellectual diversity at universities for the transmission of new ground-breaking ideas. It further presents new evidence on the importance of personal teacher-student interaction and intellectual diversity at universities for the transmission of the ideas of the Scientific Revolution. With this, the paper adds another dimension to the literature on the Great Divergence by highlighting the importance of higher learning institutions as a catalysator of knowledge exchange.Learn more
31 Jan 2023
Aina Palarea Marimon
Aina Palarea Marimon PhD Candidate from the European University Institute (EUI) will present her paper “Silk, Luxury and Social Emulation” to “When did silk become a luxury fabric for the middling sort? The consumption of luxury textiles in fifteenth-century Catalonia”.Learn more
21 Feb 2023
Moritz Lubczyk, PhD Candidate from the University of Zurich will present his paper "The Causal Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution: Evidence from Socialist East Germany". Abstract: This paper measures the causal effects of long-term exposure to air pollution on individuals. When the Soviet Union – main provider of fossil fuels to socialist East Germany after World War II – unexpectedly cut oil exports in 1982, East Germany had to rapidly substitute oil with highly-polluting lignite coal. We exploit the spatial distribution of lignite deposits within East Germany to show that the resulting increase in air pollution had large and persistent effects on individuals’ health and labor market outcomes over the four decades after the shock. We leverage authoritarian restrictions on the freedom of movement and the non-competitive housing and labor markets of the country’s command economy to identify long-term effects in an inverse movers design.Learn more
28 Feb 2023
Peiyuan Li, PhD Candidate from the University of Colorado will present his paper "Who Lost (or Won) China? Land Reform and War Mobilization". Abstract: Land redistribution can be deliberately designed to trigger a civil war. How did the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rally millions of farmers to win in 1949? The crucial step was to initiate land reform through class struggle, empowering farmers to violently take land from their landlords. Farmers desired land ownership but feared reprisals from landlords, who were backed by the Kuomintang (KMT) government. Therefore, farmers had to choose between joining the CCP’s army to defend their land, and free-riding. Adopting a difference-in-difference design and examining the death records of 566,161 Communist soldiers, I find that, for counties within 82 kilometers of KMT forces, a greater share of land redistribution to farmers encouraged farmers to fight, leading to a rise in CCP soldier deaths after land reform. However, for counties that were farther than 82 kilometers from KMT forces, a greater share of land transfer to farmers discouraged them from fighting (free-riding), resulting in fewer soldier deaths after land reform. A model of class struggle for land ownership explains the two different patterns. This paper develops a novel theory of war mobilization and partially explains the emergence of communism in the twentieth century.Learn more
7 Mar 2023
Matteo Sestito, PhD Candidate from the Aix-Marseille School of Economics will present his paper "Crop cycles and hierarchy: the agro-ecological origins of the state" Abstract: Subject to popular flee, internal rebellions and diseases, states have historically developed only under very particular agro-ecological circumstances. This paper advances and empirically validates a new perspective on state formation, helping to understand their paucity and uneven development across the globe throughout the pre-industrial era. I posit that the dissimilarity of the agricultural calendar was one of the fundamental constraints for the emergence and persistence of centralised governments. Using data from the Ethnographic Atlas, I provide evidence that the heterogeneity of agricultural growing seasons was a crucial barrier to state centralisation. This holds true when controlling for a wide range of alternative determinants of state-building. The use of potential, rather than observed, agro-ecological data, as well as various robustness tests, give credit to an interpretation of the results beyond the mere correlation.Learn more
14 Mar 2023
Pablo Sánchez-Cataldo, M.A. Student from the Santiago de Chile University will present his paper "Patents and Technology Gaps during the Early Industrialization (1870–1910)"Learn more
21 Mar 2023
Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri, PhD candidate from the LSE, will present her paper "Can female education explain the fertility decline?" Abstract: Across the world educated women tend to have fewer children than their less-educated peers. This paper provides new stylised facts about the long-run relationship between women’s education and fertility at the national, sub-national, and individual level. I focus on the implementation of educational reforms in Colombia between 1930 and the late 1940s, during the so-called liberal period, and I use individual-level data from the complete census of 1973 and from a 10% sample of the censuses of 1985 and 1993 from IPUMS. The findings caution that the relationship between fertility and women’s education is not always monotonic, and that this relationship changes significantly depending on the level of aggregation of the data. At the individual level, the relationship between education and fertility holds strongly and education increases the probability of remaining childless, reduces the total number of children and reduces the probability of having a birth at a younger age. Peer effects, such as the percentage of peers with secondary education, are ruled out, which means that the externalities of education had a moderate effect on uneducated women. On the other hand, at the national and sub-national level, the fertility decline cannot be explained by the direct effects of education as fertility fell continuously in all educational groups since 1965.Learn more
- Economic History
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