Questions tagged [history]

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37
votes
5answers
9k views

Did real incomes drop significantly since the 1950s?

From what I heard, in 1950s America, you didn't have to go to college to support a large family and a stay-at-home wife. People could buy houses easily, drove giant cars and didn't worry about gas ...
18
votes
2answers
821 views

Why is capital income taxed differently than wage income?

Why is income from capital gains taxed differently than wage income? There are perhaps historical, practical, and theoretical reasons. What are they? (As far as historical reason go, I'm asking ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How could the economic cost of the world not speaking the same language be estimated?

While languages are fun and add color and flair to cultures and make the world a more interesting place, they also have a cost. Beyond the monetary costs of translation/editing/proofreading, ...
14
votes
5answers
6k views

What was economics like as a field before Adam Smith, the father of *modern* economics?

Adam Smith is called the "father of modern economics" and his book The Weath of Nations, a fundamental work in the field of economics, is considered the first modern book on economics. In addition, ...
10
votes
1answer
215 views

Do large public companies ever “quit while they're ahead”?

Large public companies (e.g. S&P 500) seem to end their lives in one of two ways: either they're acquired (or taken private), or they go bankrupt. Theoretically it seems like there should be a ...
8
votes
2answers
623 views

What causes the “imperialism of economics” and how did it start?

Wikipedia defines "economics imperialism" as follows: Economics imperialism (often economic imperialism) in contemporary economics refers to economic analysis of seemingly non-economic aspects of ...
8
votes
2answers
418 views

Historical US Housing Data Availability

Papers like Ng and Moench (2011) and Negro and Otrok (2007) use historical housing data to estimate latent variables that correspond to some "true" or "truer" measure of house prices or housing ...
7
votes
3answers
189 views

When and why women left the labour market?

It is well documented that women in now developed countries entered the labour market all thoughout the 20th century. As such, female labour participation have consistently increased. For example, ...
6
votes
3answers
192 views

How wealthy are modern day humans compared to preindustrial times?

I would like to see a quantitative wealth comparison between the average human in a hunter gather or agrarian society to average human in the today's world. I'm mostly interested in how the discovery ...
6
votes
2answers
686 views

Why could interest rates go up if Brexit happens?

I was reading this article, George Osborne says Brexit would drive up mortgage rates: George Osborne has issued a stark warning that mortgage rates will rise if Britain leaves the European Union. ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

When was fractional reserve banking introduced?

According to Wikipedia's history of banking article: Modern banking practice, including fractional reserve banking and the issue of banknotes emerged in the 17th century. The article on fractional ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views

Predicted recessions that never happened

It seems generally accepted that recessions are hard to forecast, in both onset and intensity, but the bias seems to be toward rosy outlooks: The main finding is that, while forecasters are ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Who created the concept of “present value”?

I cannot find anything on this online. The wikipedia article is purely technical, except by a mention that such system was used in England in early 16th century. Do you know who was the first to come ...
6
votes
3answers
217 views

What is Islamic Banking?

What is "Islamic banking," and how is it similar to and different from banking as it occurs in the U.S.? I have heard Shariah Law prohibits usury, the taking of interest on loans. How do Muslim ...
6
votes
1answer
100 views

Applications of Optimal Transport in Economics

The 1975 Nobel Prize winner in Economics was Kantorovich who reformulated the optimal transportation theory of Monge and applied it to optimal resource allocation. The Wasserstein distance is central ...
6
votes
1answer
86 views

Is there a study of world poverty rates over time pre 1800?

There seems to be research showing that world poverty rates have declined since 1800, see eg this. Is there any research on world poverty rates before this period? I am guessing that during this ...
5
votes
2answers
890 views

Is money capital?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines "capital" as n. economic goods (e.g. railways, ships, machinery, buildings) destined for use in production (as opposed to consumers' goods). Historically, the ...
5
votes
2answers
255 views

Did capitalism exist before the 18th century?

Were there capitalistic economies before the 18th century?
5
votes
1answer
193 views

Book for Bretton Woods conferences and gold standard

I am looking for a good book to explain to me why the gold standard existed and why in the Bretton Woods conferences, some countries choose to abandon it. An explanation of the general scenario in a ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

Who was the inventor of Utility function?

To my knowledge, the idea of representing weak-order with a function dates back to Cantor. So my questions are: 1) Was Cantor the first person to rigorize these kinds of representation? 2) Were ...
5
votes
1answer
26 views

Is there a reference that plots different countries' debt-to-GDP ratios over (long) times?

This old blog post has an interesting plot that demonstrates that the U.K.'s current debt-to-GDP ratio is significantly below its very-long-term (180-year) average. Is there a plot anywhere that ...
5
votes
5answers
201 views

What are good books on economic world history?

I am trying to find a book that covers human history with a special focus on economics. It should answer questions like: What economic systems prevailed during which eras? How did these systems work ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

How are historic economic statistics calculated?

Sources like Our World in Data can have statistics that date back hundreds of years. Specifically, the Our World in Data source has a graph of GDP Per Capita in England dating all the way back 1270. ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

What was the US monetary policy like in the 70s?

Today the US inflation target is roughly 2%. However in 1974 the inflation rate was 11% and in 1980 it was 13.5%. What monetary policy did they follow at that time that allowed the inflation to rise ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Was factory beef farming (in the USA) the result of government-subsidized corn?

In The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan writes that industrial beef farming, in the form of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), is dependent on low corn prices for its cost-effectiveness....
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Are simultaneous equation models out of fashion? Why?

According to Angrist & Pischke "Undergraduate econometrics instruction: Through our classes, darkly" (2017) Tables 2 and 3, econometrics textbooks deemphasized simultaneous equation ...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

History of Municipal Bonds

Does anyone have a good book on the history of Muni Bonds that focuses on the reasons why they grew in popularity, adoption, and gov policy souring them. Background on why I need this info I am ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Was the aid in the Marshall Plan a loan?

In the aftermath of the Second World War the USA organised the Marshall plan for the post-war reconstruction of Europe. I take it this was actually a loan of some kind; on what kind of terms was the ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Military expenditure over time

The following graph from the world bank website shows the world wide military expenditure in percentage of the world GDP over time from 1988 to 2015 I am trying to find similar data over a much ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Is finance complex?

I am reading a book that is describing a group of people in the middle ages. It says "[they] had managerial and financial jobs, jobs of high complexity, and were neither farmers nor craftsmen". I am ...
3
votes
0answers
2k views

Has Trickle-Down economics ever worked?

With "trickle-down economics" on the tongue of Americans this year, I wanted to do some research. The prevailing opinion is "trickle-down economics doesn't work." I can find many resources which ...
3
votes
0answers
130 views

Has there been anyone since the philosopher Thales that has held an extremely detached view of money, and also found innovative ways to profit?

According to legend anyway (ie Aristotle's account), Thales was a business man of his time! On the motive Thales had for attaining material possession, Aristotle held that Thales was only out to prove ...
2
votes
2answers
471 views

Did the idea of “making money” originate in the United States?

I am currently reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and I came across an interesting paragraph related to Economics and American History. If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Pascali (2015) Natural Experiment

In The Wind of Change: Maritime Technology, Trade and Economic Development (2015), Pascali estimates various effects on freight rates (i.e. the cost of transport) on outcomes such as trade volumes and ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

When was the supply and demand model first used?

Who created the supply and demand model in economics or when was it first used?
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Rationale behind teaching History in University

I wrote an answer to this question regarding how economists evaluate a specific subject in a given curriculum. Subjects which develop skills that have labour market significance are valuable to a ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Recommended reading to understand American economic history

In India Unbound, the author goes over India's economic history, right from independence to present day. I am interested in a similar reading for the United States, specifically conditions in the 20th ...
2
votes
1answer
22 views

Need help reading early 20th century stock market list

I have a bit of a problem understanding the stock market price listings for the London stock market. I am mainly concerned with Argentinian government bonds. So far, I have always used the Investor's ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

When in the history the governments issued non-cash money first?

I understand that the Federal Reserve is issuing money in the form of deposits. Those deposits "are not cash but they are money: they can be used for payment (at which point they become somebody else'...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Could food storage prevent a depression?

In Genesis chapter 41 Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh about 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine which resulted in saving Egypt from famine, among other things. I think this is a great ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

Is the average age of economists getting higher than it was many years ago?

I read Hamermesh's 2012 paper, "Six Decades of Top Economics Publishing: Who and How?". He collected the data from QJE, AER and JPE. It seems that the average age of economists is now higher than it ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

why did the 2008 financial crisis happen inspite of banks having 85% insurance on deposits in U.S.?

I read What Happened in 2008? which gives some idea and similar things are happening in India. Seems India's 2019/2020 is similar yet different as millions are educated unemployed. While I can ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Who took utimatum game and dictator game as the evidence against Homo Economicus assumption of individual utility maximization?

Wikipedia and this McGill University page states that the two games "have been taken as both evidence for and against the Homo economicus assumptions of rational, utility-maximizing, individual ...
1
vote
3answers
188 views

What are modern examples of established economic theories being used on a large scale in real life?

I was thinking recently how economic theories (the stuff they teach you in college) affects real-life decisions. I found some examples (see below), but most of them are from the past and many of those ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Why is South Korea classified as an Emerging Market economy?

I have recently found out that South Korea is part of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, and that the South Korean Won (KRW) currency trades as a non-deliverable currency. Furthermore, the South Korean ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

How exactly could you protect your debt, by enclosing it in larger debts with better security?

I don't understand the notion below of "enclosing" or "including" the 2nd bad debt into the 1st more secure debt. If you already owe the larger debt with larger security, then ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Why did foreigners keep buying Swiss francs at -41% (not a typo) interest rate in the 1970s?

A Bloomberg (opinion) piece notes In January 1975, the Swiss government held an emergency meeting and then took the extraordinary step of slapping a 41% annual penalty on foreign deposits. But even ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

How to convert an historic value denoted in foreign currency to a modern value in local currency?

I want to convert GBP in 1968 to USD in 2018, in order to "translate" an amount paid by an individual in Britain fifty years ago. My intention is that an American reader today will be able to better ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Quantifying economic mobilization

Total war requires mobilization of the economy. The degree of a nation's mobilization can be quantified in two major ways: Negatively: as, e.g., the reduction of "non-essential consumer production" --...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

What are some good books, explaining why the society and economy developed like it is through the history? [closed]

It has always been fascinating to me why, out of so many other options, the society has developed in this way. So I was searching for resources which explain what chain of events-and why- from ...