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HOW TO ACHIEVE A MORE COMPASSIONATE CAPITALISM: Look back to medieval Cambridge

Date:
28 Mar 2017

Summary:

England in the late thirteenth century had a dynamic economy, but it was not based on a consumer-driven boom or individualistic capitalism. New analysis of over one thousand properties in medieval Cambridge shows how wealth accumulated by successful businesses was recycled back into the community through support for local churches and hospitals and for itinerant preachers based in the town. 

The study by Catherine Casson, Mark Casson, John Lee and Katie Phillips, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference, shows how Cambridge’s self-sustaining system was broken in the 1340s by the Black Death, the outbreak of the Hundred Years War and punitive levels of taxation imposed on towns thereafter. When prosperity returned in the Tudor period, a more ruthless form of capitalism took root: it is this capitalism whose legacy remains with us today.

BRITAIN’S EVOLVING TRANSPORT NETWORK, 1680-1830

Date:
28 Mar 2017

Summary:

Between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, England underwent both massive urbanisation and a radical transformation of the urban hierarchy not paralleled in any other European country. Over the same period, the country's transport infrastructure was transformed – by river improvements, by turnpike road construction, by the creation of a canal network, the railways and the advent of steam-powered iron and steel-hulled ships.

A major new research project by Oliver Dunn and colleagues is exploring this transport change and its immense importance in the process of industrialisation. Findings to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference reveal how the differences between places and the ways in which they were connected had long-term effects on the diffusion of new productive technologies and contrasting regional outcomes in terms of economic growth and occupational structure.

ACCOUNTING WAS THE FOUNDATION FOR FINANCIAL MARKETS IN THE EARLY MODERN AGE

Date:
28 Mar 2017

Summary:

Accounting was central to the emergence of financial markets in early modern Europe, according to new research by Nadia Matringe, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference. 

Her study shows that its function was similar to that of modern algorithms used to match orders and perform financial transactions. Accounting tables were used to make payments, transfer funds, operate clearance and grant interest bearing loans – all of which could be combined in a single game of book entries in the accounts of corresponding partners.

THE HEALTH AND HUMAN CAPITAL OF WAR REFUGEES: Evidence from Jewish migrants escaping the Nazis 1940-42

Date:
28 Mar 2017

Summary:

Late refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe were in better health and had higher levels of education compared with the populations in their countries of origin. That is the central finding of new research by Matthias Blum and Claudia Rei, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference. Their study indicates that this pattern of ‘positive selection’ was stronger for women than men.

VERY LONG-TERM TRENDS IN ECONOMIC INEQUALITY: Evidence of concentration in European wealth over seven centuries

Date:
28 Mar 2017

Summary:

In the last seven centuries of European history, there were only two periods during which the share of the top 10% by wealth declined: in the aftermath of the Black Death; and between the two world wars of the twentieth century. That is one of the findings of new research by Guido Alfani, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference.

MONETARY POLICY AND COUNTERPARTY RISK MANAGEMENT: Lessons from Banque de France operations in the late 19th century

Date:
28 Mar 2017

Summary:

Recent financial crises highlight the importance of operational procedures used by central banks to implement their monetary policy. To fulfil their mandate of financial stability and reducing financial stress, central bank actions feature temporary extraordinary loans to new types of financial intermediaries or the purchases of new types of assets.

New research by Maylis Avaro and Vincent Bignon, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference, shows how such operational procedures were also crucial in nineteenth century France in addressing the difficulties associated with implementing a discount policy in a world rigged by moral hazard.

THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO PROMOTE PRODUCTS MADE AT HOME: Evidence from the ‘Buy British’ campaigns of the 1960s and 1980s

Date:
10 Mar 2017

Summary:

The rise of protectionist sentiment in the United States and Europe may well generate campaigns to persuade consumers to boycott foreign products and give their preference to those made at home.

New research by David Clayton and David Higgins, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference, draws on Britain’s experience with ‘Buy British’ campaigns in the 1960s and 1980s to suggest that such policies are doomed to failure. They may contravene international treaty obligations; they fail to take account of the interwoven nature of modern trade; and private sector organisations are typically unsupportive.

WOMEN AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: New evidence from over 100 countries

Date:
01 Apr 2016

Summary:

Giving women the freedom they need to take charge of their own fertility will be central to reducing global poverty in the years ahead. That is the conclusion of research by Dr Victoria Bateman, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge. Her study, which analyses data on women, fertility, growth and poverty in over 100 countries for the period 1970-2015, finds that:

INDUSTRIAL SPECIALISATION AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN ITALY, 1952-2002

Date:
01 Apr 2016

Summary:

How did the industrial specialisation of European countries change in the long run? Given the different patterns followed by each EU member state, is it possible to design continental industrial policies, aiming at harmonising the different models of development? 

In research to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge, Fabio Lavista, starts from the observation that the European development process after the Second World War, in terms of industrial structure, was a sequence of convergence and divergence, determined by the interaction of the progressive economic integration and national structural policies.

COLONY, CLUB AND CORPORATION: The persistence of gentlemanly capitalist networks in India from the British Raj to the present day

Date:
31 Mar 2016

Summary:

‘Members only’: the exclusive social establishments of colonial South Bombay were known as gymkhanas – an Anglo-Indian term for gentlemen’s clubs. Still peppered around the Bombay coastline, they recall the luxury and glamour of the British Raj. And while the infamous ‘No Indians or dogs’ signs are long removed from those colonial verandas, access is still limited to the socio-economic elite.

Today, the Bombay club culture closely underpins the boardrooms of Indian manufacturing firms, especially those established under British patronage and passed down family lines. Research by Shachi Amdekar, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge, tells the story of these Indian industrial houses, which used the power of community and networks to rise from the chaos of empire and dominate Indian industry as we know it today.

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