Summer 2013 Newsletter of the Cliometric Society

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Summer 2013 Newsletter of the Cliometric Society

The Newsletter ofThe Cliometric SocietySummer 2013 Vol 28 No. 1Table of ContentsWorld Clio 2013……………...………………...…………………………...3Tuesday, June 18...............………3Wednesday, June 19........………13Thursday, June 20...........………21Friday, June 21………....………31Rainbow Warrior Report …………………………………………...……19The Cliometric Society and the 2013 Class of Fellows…………...…..…34Interview: John Komlos………………..…………………………………38In Memory of Cynthia Taft Morris…..……..……………………………45The Newsletter of the Cliometric SocietyEditor: Mary Eschelbach HansenLayout and design: Ben GregsonEditorial Office: Department of Economics, American University, 4400 MassachusettsAvenue NW, Washington DC 20016Send contributions to mhansen@american.eduEditor’s Note: Throughout this issue we share remembrances of Professor Robert Fogel, who died in June2013. Rather an provide an obituary (see the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune), we share storiescontributed by several Clio Society members whose careers have been influenced by Professor Fogel. Theremembrances were solicited through e-mail and condensed and edited from a July 10 event in his memoryat the meetings of the Development of the American Economy program of the National Bureau of EconomicResearch. Recordings of the event were generously provided by Claudia Goldin in advance of their posting onthe NBER website. We also must sadly report the passing of Cynthia Taft Morris.--Mary Hansen, Editor2


World Clio 2013Reported by Eric Schneider, AndreaMatranga, Theresa Gutberlet, JamesFeigenbaum, Marc Goni, Edward Kosack,Sebastian Fleitas, Dustin Frye, Alan deBromhead, Gabriele Cappelli, Pei Gao, DanMarcin, Wayne Liou, Anna Missiaia, RossKnippenberg, Zachary Ward. Edited by MaryEschelbach Hansen. Pictures courtesy ofAndrea Matranga and Summer LaCroix.The 7th World Congress of Cliometrics was held June18-21 in Honolulu on the campus of the Universityof Hawaii. The organizing committee of Ann Carlos,Mike Haupert, and Sumner La Croix (chair) puttogether a stimulating conference. Yeoman’s workwas done by Sumner La Croix, who also served as thelocal organizer. He arranged for a welcome picnic theevening before the conference began, a hula receptionon the first night of the conference, and a fabulousbanquet for the closing ceremonies. His attention todetail made for a conference that matched the sceneryin splendor and magnificence.With 83 papers on the conference schedule, it was notpossible to report on each one. Many apologies to theauthors whose presentations are not summarized here,and many thanks to the team of 16 volunteer reportswho made it possible to cover the many sessionsincluded below.Tuesday, June 18Eugene White (Rutgers) presented “Can MoralHazard Be Avoided? The Banque de France and theCrisis of 1889.” The paper, co-authored with Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur (Paris School of Economics) andAngelo Riva (European Business School, Paris),examines the role of the central bank as a lifeboat ina financial crisis. In 1889 the Societe industrielle etcommercial des metaux (SM), a major player in thespeculation of copper, faced certain failure. SM hadcornered the copper futures market, massively overleveragingitself. The Banque de France conducted alifeboat operation to avoid contagion by extending aline of credit funded partly by other firms who sharedblame in the debacle. This was a perfect alignment ofincentives, and the French economy did not see anysimilar crisis for decades. The empirics of the paperconsist of network analysis by linking together peoplein various firms and finding the central figures. Theresults support the idea that firms and executives morecentral to the cause of the crisis were pshed moreharshly. The higher the centrality of a person indicatesa higher possibility for corruption, as the he wouldhave conflicting interests.The first half of the discussion centered on theframing of the paper. Eric Hilt (Wellesley) suggestedemphasizing that the current literature misses therole of other firms in the crisis, including how theycame out relatively unscathed. Christine Mumme(Tüebingen) and Jeremy Atack (Vanderbilt) wonderedabout applying the analysis to other financial crises.White replied that he and his co-authors want tobe careful about over-applying, except to say thatincentives and pshments need to be properly aligned.A large part of the discussion revolved around theauthors’ use of network analysis. While the metricswere versally applauded, Michelangelo Vasta(Siena) asked if the network could be examinedbefore and after the crisis. White replied that resultsare forthcoming, but he is confident that the networkwas less dense after the crisis, indicating that theperpetrators of the crisis had fewer vested interestsin neighboring firms. Carola Frydman (Boston)concluded the discussion by asking about pshmentto instigators after this crisis. White responded thatrules today are very different and incentives have alsochanged: executives cannot lose their personal wealth.James Feigenbaum (Harvard) presented in one ofthe second sessions of the first day. His paper wasentitled “A New Old Measure of IntergenerationalMobility: From Iowa 1915 to 1940.” The paper askshow economically mobile the US were in the pastcompared to today and whether mobility increasedover time. The work is based on the observation offathers and their sons across two censuses: 1915 and1940. The paper does not only look at occupationalmobility, as it is customary in the literature, but alsolooks at educational and income mobility. The mainresults are that inequality increased when looking ateducational and income mobility but occupationalmobility seems to have had a different trend from theother two.The discussion was opened by Robert Margo(Boston), who cast doubt on whether 1940, a yearof war preparation, was a good year for the analysis.Feigenbaum agreed that 1940 is not the perfect yearbut he was confident that any bias was not too severe.3


He further explained that these two censuses werethe only two that could be used to link fathers andsons effectively. David Mitch (Maryland) said thatcirculation mobility, which is the mobility that takesinto account of the change in quality in occupation,was not considered in the paper. Feigenbaumexplained that when only the occupation is known,it is quite hard to assess whether the mobility isupward or downward in the employment. Bill Colllins(Vanderbilt) cast doubt on the comparability of yearsof education across the sample. Feigenbaum remindedthe audience that the sample is at county level,therefore he is not too concerned about differences inschool quality. Gabriele Cappelli (EUI) asked aboutthe role of immigration. Feigenbaum explained thathe looked at whether having immigrant grandparentsmade any difference: It didn’t. The last commentswere by Jessica Bean (Denison) who suggestedusing marriage records to track women, and CarolynMoehling (Rutgers) who asked whether Iowa wasreally representative of the US. On this last commentFeigenbaum replied that Iowa is by far the state withthe best quality data and other states would allow for asimilar analysis.In one of the third sessions in the first day, JoyceBurnette (Wabash) presented her paper with MariaStanfors on “Gender and Wage Growth: Evidencefrom Swedish Manufacturing c. 1900.” In this paper,the two authors study the occupational patterns ofwomen in the tobacco manufacturing industry inSweden at the beginning of the 20 th century. Thisindustry had two main occupations: cigar rolling andcomposting. The former required far less skills thanthe latter. The fact that this industry employed menand women in similar numbers allows the authorsto study how the internal labor market for the twogenders worked. The bottom line of the paper is thatwomen tend to choose low training profiles (cigarEnjoying Cliometrics al fresco.Good thing the session ended before sunset!rolling) while men choose high training profiles(composting). This led to a wage gap. An openquestion is why women do so: discrimination ordifferent preferences?The first comment was by Paul Sharp (SouthernDenmark) who suggested that women are morerisk averse when choosing the number of years intraining. Burnette agreed that it could be the case.Eric Schneider (Oxford) suggested adding a timedimension, as the cross section does not capturetechnological change or retraining. Burnette said thatit was not possible to build a panel with the availabledata. Also, a panel could be tricky for other reasonstherefore she was happy with studying a steady state.Chiaki Morguchi (Hitotsubashi) asked whether therewas information on the internal market of the firm.This could be interesting as different patterns couldbe observed in firms of different size. Moreover,she asked whether this was a discrimination story.The author was not sure at this stage of research thatthe wage gap in this industry could be attributedto discrimination. Yukiko Abe (Hokkaido) askedwhy Sweden was a frontrunner in fighting sexdiscrimination. Burnette suggested that it could havebeen because of the strong welfare state. GabrieleCappelli (EUI) suggested that behind the choice forless training there could be a cultural explanation.Burnette found the point interesting, as women oftendecided not to participate to on activities even if theywere allowed to.Yasuo Takatsuki (Kobe) presented his paper“Informational Efficiency under the ShogunateGovernance: Concentration and Integration of the RiceMarket in Tokugawa Japan,” in which he constructsa new database to test the level of integration of themarkets for rice in Japan between 1798 and 1856.This zone and time frame is very important since4


it is well know that the first organized market forfuture contracts emerged in Oasaka, Japan duringthe Tokugawa period (1603-1867). Using a newdaily price index from a unique historical document,he discusses the integration of the markets for ricecertificates (futures) in the markets of Dojima (DSE),in the area of Oasaka and Otsu (OSE) through timeseries econometric analysis. Based on the results ofthe Granger Causality tests, the author states that themarket integration increased greatly during the lateTakugawa period.The main point in the discussion was about how toidentify the concept of causality in the setting ofGranger Tests. James Fenske (Oxford) wonderedif it is possible to distinguish in the applied settingsthe effects of the flows of information (that generatesmarket integration) with other co-shocks. FlorianPloecki (Oxford) pointed out that the paper wouldbenefit from a discussion of the shocks that impactthe prices. Alfredo Garcia-Hiernaux (UniversidadComplutense de Madrid) suggested that if it werepossible to find data for a more distant market, even ifit is more aggregated data, it could be possible to testmore directly the effect of distance in the integrationand then the informational flow. A second point wasrelated to the institutional details of the market. HelenYang (George Mason ) wondered about the role ofpublic finances and about the possibility of contractsamong producers, while Tuan Hwee-Sng (NationalUniv. of Singapore) asked about reputational effectsamong markets and producers. Concha Betrán(Valencia) asked about the possibility of existence ofprice floors for the rice as in the case of Spain. Finally,Larry Neal (Illinois) raised the question of why thecontemporary rice merchant made the effort of takingnotes of daily prices for the two markets for such along period. Human motivation is always difficultto understand, but all who were present agreed thateconomic historians should be thankful to thosepeople.Alan de Bromhead (Oxford) presented on “WomenVoters and Party Preference in Weimar Germany.”The paper is concerned with the voting behaviorof German women in the elections that brought theNazi to power. Mark Koyama (George Mason)asked about the drivers of the women’s vote. Hewondered whether women tended to vote for moreconservative parties or parties that care more about thewelfare state. De Bromhead said that women tendedto vote for parties that promise more protection.Christina Mumme (Tuebingen) was worried aboutthe overrepresentation of Protestant regions in thesample, and De Bromhead agreed that he should tryto drop some Protestant regions as a robustness check.David Mitch (Maryland) asked why the numberof women voters was so low over the period. Theauthor suggested that the reason for the low rate ofparticipation was that women were not very targetedby propaganda. Qian Lu (Maryland) asked howsecret were the ballots, and the author confirmedthat the vote was still secret at the time. A number ofparticipants engaged in a discussion of whether it wasappropriate to assume the women in the 1930s had thesame preferences that we expect from women today.Yukiko Abe (Hokkaido) presented “On the HistoricalDevelopment of Regional Difference in Women’sParticipation in Japan,” which reviews how regionaldifferences in women’s participation in job marketin Japan evolved through time and across regions.Regional difference in term of women’s participationdeclined after 1970, but the same regional patternpersists. Also, large regional disparities in women’sparticipation ratios exist for married women. Thesupply factors play the main role: the difference inavailability of childcare and prevalence of the threegenerationhousehold across regions account the mostfor the variation in female labor force participation.Bishnupriya Gupta (Warwick) and Pei Gao (LSE)among others raised their concern on the interpretationof childcare facilities. The first part of the discussionwas concentrated on what kind of childcare facilitywas prevalent in the areas that had higher womenparticipation rates, since the demand for female laborand provision of childcare could be two separatethings if the nursery institutions were publiclyprovided. Jessica Bean (Denison) and BeverlyLemire (Alberta) both questioned why childcare wasHow do they get work done when hiking like this is nearby?5


I first met Bob Fogel and his family about 55years ago. At Johns Hopkins, Bob and I sharedan attic office with four other with four othergraduate students. Bob had just completed hisMA at Columbia University, was publishing hisbook on the Union Pacific Railroad, and wasstarting to work on his railroad book. Sincewe were the only two of the six interested ineconomic history, we had frequent discussionsand debates. I particularly remember two ofthese debates which took quite some time toresolve.For several weeks we were concerned with therecently published—and at the time highlypraised—workof Walt Rostow in The Stages ofEconomic Growth. I had then naively thought thatit was a major contribution, while Bob—as seenin one of the chapters of the railroad book—thought the work was quite flawed.The other major discussion, which hadconsiderably more impact on our work,was originated by my required journal clubpresentation of the famous Conrad and Meyerarticle in the Journal of Political Economy. Thiswas immediately seen to be a very controversialpiece for both its method of analysis and forits substantive conclusions. After numerousarguments about what it did or did not prove,we ultimately agreed that to resolve the issueit would be useful to collect more data fromprimary sources on slave prices and productivity,which we were able to do so with some help fromthe NSF. With Bob in Chicago and me Rochester,we began our collaboration at some distance—more difficult then than now. The data collectionand analysis led to many interesting debatesand fruitful discussions, and a great deal of fun,enjoyment, and intellectual stimulation overmany years.--Stanley Engermanmore available in the Northern coastal area rather thanin urban areas like Tokyo. Joyce Burnette (Wabash)and Carolyn Modhling (Rutgers) wanted more aboutdemand for women’s labor.Ralph Hippe (Strasbourg) presented “RemotenessEquals Backwardness?” which uses Europeanregions from 1850 to test whether remoteness givesdisincentives to invest in human capital. Usingnumeracy and population potential to proxy humancapital and market access, the paper argues that6market access has a significant positive influenceon human capital level across Europe from 1850onward, therefore the result confirms the ‘penaltyof remoteness’ hypothesis for Europe in a long termperspective.The discussion focused on the methodology. AnnaMissiaia (LSE) asked about using straight linedistance to measure market access, given that mostof European countries have multiple transportationchoices. Many suggested that this paper should adddistance to a coast as control variable or incorporatecost of shipping into the model. Steve Nafziger(Williams) was concerned about the quality of thedata because 50% of the sample lay in Russia andthe census of Russia at that time point had systematicproblems. Eric Schneider (Oxford) pointed out thatmigration should not be neglected. The second part ofthe discussion focused on questioning the framework.Mark Koyama (George Mason) and others suggestedthat the alternative possibility was higher humancapital level lead to better market access, not the otherway around.Tuan-Hwee Sng (National Univ. of Singapore)and Chiaki Moriguchi (Hitotsubashi) presenteda principal-agent model aimed at understandingdifferences in state capacity between pre-modernChina and Japan. Their paper focuses on the cost ofmonitoring bureaucrats in charge of tax collection,which in turn depends on the size of domains and theavailable technology. The authors claim that in Japan– a smaller domain than China – economic expansionand increased revenues led to investment in publicgoods, while in China economic growth led to lowtaxes in order to prevent bureaucratic expropriation.In the authors’ view, this had important implicationsfor the divergence observed between China and Japanafter 1850.William Collins (Vanderbilt) suggested that a numberof features (urbanization and the productivity inagriculture among the others) might have affected taxrevenues. Nicolas Ziebarth (Iowa) asked whetherpublic goods were central for the development ofChina and Japan – especially those goods that theauthors focus on. Anna Missiaia (LSE) asked ifassuming the ruler’s life as infinite is reasonable.Daniel Marcin (Michigan) suggested that thegiven monitoring technology might have evolvedwith the level of corruption. Finally, Marlous VanWaijenburg (Northwestern) wondered if benefitswere misaligned with costs at the regional level


ecause of fiscal redistribution.Andrea Matranga (Pompeu Fabra) presented a paperaimed at explaining why humans embraced sedentaryagriculture about ten thousand years ago – despitethe fact that the new practice led to a lower averageconsumption than that achieved through the nomadiclife of hunters and gatherers. This work suggests thatthe independent discovery of sedentary farming acrossdifferent regions of the world was not motivated bythe promise of a more abundant diet, but rather by thedesire for a less uncertain one.Christina Mumme (Tubingen) wondered how astrong relationship between sedentary agricultureand consumption smoothing existed given thatagricultural output was likely to be influenced byfluctuations caused by seasonality. AlessandroNuvolari (Sant’Anna) pointed out that the title of thepaper should not be so negative given the subsequentdevelopments and success of agricultural practicesacross the world. The discussion focused mainly onthe relationship between institutional advances, socialdevelopments, and sedentary agriculture. Many ofthe participants – Leonard Dudley (Montreal), JohnWallis (Maryland) and Rick Steckel (Ohio State),among the others – pointed out that the paper assumesthat ‘modern’ institutions were developed largely asa result of sedentary lives while the reverse might betrue.Marta Felis-Rota (Universidad Autonoma deMadrid) presented “A GIS Analysis of the Evolutionof the Railway Network and Population Densitiesin England and Wales, 1851-2000.” The paper, coauthoredwith Jordi Marti Henneberg and Laia Mojica(both Universitat de Lleida), examines the role ofrailway access on urbanization Wales and England. Bycreating a comprehensive GIS database of railway andstations maps paired with census population data from17,000 time-consistent parishes, the authors measurethe extent to which a rail station increases populationin a parish. The time period of the study can generallybe divided into two: pre- and post-1900. The firstpart characterizes expansion of the railway networkwhile the second part characterizes contraction. Themain conclusion is that railway stations are stronglycorrelated with urbanization and population growth.The discussion began with some clarifying questions.Jeremy Atack (Vanderbilt) asked if stations couldbe divided between passenger and freight (no),and Florian Ploeckl (Oxford) wondered about the7After the Plenary Session.inclusion of trams (no). The discussion quickly turnedto the matter of causality: did rail stations really causeurbanization? Robert Margo (Boston) explained thatinstruments for railway studies are difficult to find andjustify. Tim Hatton (ANU) asked why some stationsand lines closed: was the peak railway network sizereally too large? Daniel Marcin (Michigan) askedwhether the lines being closed were old or new?Felis-Rota replied that it appears mostly small branchlines closed, which were also the last ones to open,indicating over-investment. Additionally, lines wereopened under private investment, but closed underpublic management.Masanori Takashima (Hitotsubashi) presented newhistorical GDP estimates for Japan from 725 to 1890.The paper is co-authored with Jean-Pascal Bassino(IAO, ENS den Lyon), Stephen Broadberry (LSE),Kyoiji Fukao (Hitotsubashi), and BishnupriyaGupta (Warwick). The authors use measures ofagricultural output, population, and urbanization toestimate GDP from the output side. They find thatJapan was nearly equal to Britain in GDP per capitain the fourteenth century but fell behind Britain afterthe Black Death. There was some convergence withBritain until the mid-seventeenth century after whichJapan could no longer match Britain’s growth. Theyalso find that Japan’s GDP per capita was alwayshigher than India’s.Alessandro Nuvolari (Sant’Anna) asked whetherthe hours worked were the same in both countries.He worried that assuming that the hours worked wasconstant across time and space would lead to bias inthe demand elasticities calculated. Leonard Dudley(Montreal) wondered why Japan’s agricultural outputand productivity was not influenced by the Little IceAge. James Fenske (Oxford) wondered whether asensitivity analysis could be added to show how great


ecommended that Zeibarth use data on telephones,telegraphs and newspapers as controls of other sourcesof information in order to have a clear interpretationof the coefficients on radio penetration. A third streamof comments was about the geographic spillovers.Matthew Jaremski (Colgate) and Kris Mitchener(Warwick) suggested that in this setting it could be akey issue to capture the effects of what happened in acounty on other counties.Bob Margo accepts appointment as Clio Fellows.an influence the elasticity assumptions had on the finalGDP estimates produced. Finally, several people askedquestions about the skill premium. Ahmed Rahman(US Naval Academy) asked whether the skilled andunskilled wages reported were coming from differentindustries, hinting that changes in the skill premiummight solely reflect the plight of different industriesin the economy. Andrea Matranga (Pompeu Fabra)wondered whether there were barriers to entry into theskilled classes and how these might have changed overtime.Nicolas Ziebarth (Iowa) presented “The Radioand Banks Runs in the Great Depression,” whichhighlights how the existence of a public signal knownto a select group of individuals affects the behaviorof those uninformed. In other words, the paperemphasizes the potential role of bad information,what people know and how they use it, on someresults like the bank runs in the Great Depression.Using econometric analysis that controls for a varietyof measures of local economic conditions and pretrends,the paper presents evidence that the countieswith higher levels of radio penetration rates in 1930experienced higher levels of banking stress between1930 and 1933. This result is framed in a model ofbank runs with strategic externalities and with agentswith heterogeneous information.Regarding the main argument of the paper, KenSnowden (UNC Greensboro), Eugene White(Rutgers) and Robert Margo (Boston ) noted thatwhether more information is a good or a bad thingdepends on whether people are running against aninsolvent or a merely illiquid bank. A second concernwas about the use of radio penetration as a measureof the information that the people have. StephenNafziger (Williams) wondered if the radio ownershipcould reflect other aspects of wealth while Eric Hilt(Welesley), Farley Grubb (Delaware), FlorianPloeckl (Oxford) and Carola Frydman (Boston)Giovanni Federico (EUI) and Antonio Tena-Junguito (Carlos III) presented the preliminaryresults of a research project on world trade. Forapproximately 100 countries, they collected andestimated trade flows from the end of Napoleonicwars to the outbreak of World War II. They found thata long period of steady growth in world trade startedaround 1830, but was interrupted by World War I.After a brief recovery in the twenties, commerce wasseverely curtailed by the Great Depression.Price Fishback (Arizona) noted that the Napoleonicwars had also interrupted a trend of rising tradegrowth. Tim Hatton (ANU) pointed out that thedataset allowed for backing out comparable andstandardized freight rates, (the authors half-jokingly)promised to bring this for Clio 2017. LeonardDudley (Montreal) inquired as to the relationshipbetween exchange rate and trade in the data, whileMichelangelo Vasta (Siena) asked whether the effectof the telegraph could be observed.Beverly Lemire (Alberta) analyzed a representativesample of just over 1,000 wills of sailors who diedon ships engaged in intercontinental trade, mostlywith the East Indies for “Men of the World: EnglishMariners, Plebeian Consumerism and New Worldsof Fashion in an Era of Global Trade, c. 1600-1800.”These wills shed light on sailors’ private tradingactivities, which were sometimes allowed by theiremployers, but more often officially forbidden buttolerated to various extents. The paper shows howsailors’ decisions were pivotal in determining fashionsacross wide swathes of European material culture.Brooks Kaiser (Southern Denmark) noted thatretailers were the most popular recipients of mariners’bequests and asked whether these were gifts to friends,or settlements towards creditors. She also wonderedwhether it might be possible to infer the strictnessof the controls from the value of the goods beingsmuggled. Ann Carlos (Colorado) asked whetherthe degree of enforcement depended on whether the8


company was trading similar goods at the time. SilviBerger (Univ. College Dublin) argued that usingthe wills of non-mariners as baseline could result ininstructive comparisons.Qian Lu and John Wallis (both Maryland) delvedinto the connections between politicians and bankersin their paper, “From Partisan Banking to OpenAccess.” By focusing on banking in Massachusettsduring the early 19 th century, they measure how bankownership changes after the 1812 election whenFederalists and Republicans fought over charteringnew banks. Since new banks required an act oflegislation, whoever controlled the house and thesenate had control over chartering new banks. Theyconnect names from bank boards to legislators to showthe close association between banking and politicalparties before 1812 while after 1812 the correlationbetween the two starts to weaken.Farley Grubb (Delaware) opened the conversationby wondering if the authors could connect the storyfrom 1812 to today’s fight over banking regulation.Alan Dye (Barnard) asked why the Federalists wouldgive up control of the banks after they still had controlfollowing the 1812 elections. With so many mentionsof 1812, Larry Neal (Illinois) questioned whetherthe War of 1812 really “had no role to play” in statefinances. Eric Hilt (Wellesley) continued on thistheme by pointing out the ending of the charter for theFirst Bank of the United States ended in 1811. Finallythe discussion turned to whether there were alternativeways to measure the political connectedness of theboards of directors.Jules Hugot (Sciences-Po) presented “Who Gainedfrom Suez and Panama?” which is co-authored withCamilo Umana Dajud (also Sciences-Po). They usevariation in the distance between trading partnersClio attendees take a break from the comments.We think of Bob Fogel as the great workaholic. Hewas a really hard-working guy, but he had interestsoutside of economics. He pursued his interests ata very high level. He was a woodworker of greatskill, almost, I’d say, professional level. If I thinkabout what Bob’s was really about—what wasspecial about it—it wasn’t the counterfactual, itwasn’t the technical things. It was the architecture.He had big ideas in mind, big projects. And healways could see the architecture of them. Hecould see the beginning, the middle, the end—theoverview. If you saw one of the tables that he made,you can also see that there. He knew you can’tmake a work of art unless you have the architecture.---Robert Margoarising from the opening of the Suez and Panamacanals and dynamic fixed effects in a gravity equationframework in order to obtain unbiased estimates of theelasticity of trade to distance. Using these parameterestimates, they simulate a counterfactual in which thecanals are not built to calculate import penetrationratios for this case. Comparing actual importpenetration ratios with the counterfactual values, theyestimate the welfare gains from trade creation forthe opening of the Suez and Panama Canals. Theyconclude that these gains are quite small.Eugene White (Rutgers), Farley Grubb (Delaware)and Danial Marcin (Michigan) all noted that thewelfare analysis should include the costs of buildingthe canals. The author responded that sufficient tradeflow data do not exist for these countries. EugeneWhite (Rutgers) and Gisela Rua (Board of Governorsof the Federal Reserve System) applauded the projectas timely as the Nicaraguan government wants to buildtheir own canal, and suggested that a discussion ofrecent proposals to widen the Panama Canal could bea great motivation for the paper.David Jacks (Simon Fraser) presented “DefyingGravity: The 1932 Imperial Economic Conferenceand the Reorientation of Canadian Trade.” Thepaper examines the implications of a change inCanadian commercial policy in response to the GreatDepression. The example is important because Canadais a representative small- to medium-size economy,U.S.-Canada border trade made up 5% of worldtrade, and there exists a detailed dataset on this rarehistorical event of a trade collapse. The results showvery few positive impacts of Ottawa Conference: littletrade was diverted to the rest of the British Empire.9


another was not was raised by both Jeff Traczynski(Hawai’i) and Ann Carlos (Colorado). PaulRhode (Michigan) asked about the possibility ofpolitical corruption in these redistricting decisions.Berger countered that she had found no evidence ofcorruption. Andrea Matranga (Pompeu Fabra) askedwhether house prices fell in the newly annexed areasas result of the higher taxation, something that theauthor said could be investigated.Jessica Bean and Marianne Wannamaker enjoy the reception.Ahmed Rahman (US Naval Academy) started outthe discussion by asking if Jacks had copyrighted thephrase “Defying Gravity,” and why a standard gravityequation was not being used. Giovanni Federico(European Institute) wondered if the change intrade could be explained by just a few commodities,rather than an across-the-board reduction. Les Oxley(Waikato) suggested considering a counterfactual.He mentioned that this study is similar to one he hadperformed with New Zealand and Australia. SebastianFleitas (Arizona) suggested using Argentina: it’slike Canada but without the Ottawa meetings. PierreSiklos (Wilfrid Laurier) asked if policymakers wereconcerned that reductions in trade would spill overinto reductions in the finance sector.“Residential Exodus from Dublin c.1900: MunicipalAnnexation and Preferences for Local Government”by Silvi Berger (Univ. College Dublin) exploresresidential preferences in Dublin at the beginningof the twentieth century. In particular it examineswhether or not certain individuals “voted with theirfeet” by moving away from areas that imposed highertaxes to outlying areas that maintained low ratesof taxation and spending. Using household leveldata from the 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland, a“natural experiment”, namely the expansion of cityboundaries, is exploited to surmount the potentialproblem of endogeneity. The results suggest thatwealthy and Protestant residents were more inclinedto move away from the areas which became a part ofthe relatively high tax area following the boundarychange when compared to the control group. Thisfinding is consistent with the social history literature inwhich maintains that a desire for lower taxation and/orpolitical autonomy was behind the exodus of wealthyresidents from the city of Dublin.The question as to why one area was annexed while“Real Wages and the Household: The Impact ofWomen and Children’s Labor Force Participationon Real Wages in Pre-Modern England” by EricSchneider (Oxford) examines the potential forhouseholds in eighteenth century England to increasefamily incomes and welfare through labor inputs andthrough non-labor market efforts. These differentstrategies constituted an “economy of makeshifts”and were based on choices regarding women andchildren’s labor inputs, household resource allocation,self-provision through garden plots, appealing forpoor law aid and increasing the number of daysworked per year. Overall the analysis suggests thatthe “economy of makeshifts” could help to raisewelfare ratios and to allow the average agriculturallaborer family at the average point in the life cycle amodest or even “respectable” level of consumption.However, the “economy of makeshifts” could notdeliver the additional income required to bring familyconsumption up to subsistence levels at the low pointof the family life cycle.Steven Nafziger (Williams) began by asking whetherthe decision for women to enter the workforce couldreally be modeled as a simple probability fromyear to year, arguing that a woman who enters theworkforce in one year is more likely to also be inthe workforce in the following year. This promptedMany thanks to meetings host Sumner LaCroix.10


Schneider to quickly produce a copy of his recentlysubmitted thesis to show that he had attempted toaddress this issue! Beverly Lemire (Alberta) askedabout households’ access to the commons; Schneideracknowledged that gleaning was important in thisperiod. The possibility of using a structural model tolook at the issues of the paper was raised on a numberof occasions by different speakers. Evan Roberts(Minnesota Population Center) raised the issue offemale household members foregoing consumptionin difficult times so that the male breadwinner couldcontinue to work. Schneider replied that “yes, thefemale sacrifice model is optimal” which caused muchamusement among the audience!Jessica Bean (Denison) presented “IntergenerationalLabor Supply in Interwar London,” which examinesthe dynamics of household labor supply in Londonduring the interwar period. While present day laborsupply decisions at the household level are wellunderstood, the lack of detailed evidence results infew studies analyzing this issue in a historical context.This is particularly troublesome given how differenthistorical households looked like, with teenage andyoung adult workers still living in the parental home.Using the 1929-31 New Survey of London Lifeand Labor, she is able to highlight the role of youngadults as secondary workers, as well as the divisionof domestic labor among mothers and young sons anddaughters.One part of the discussion focused on the manydecisions at the household level that may affect laborsupply. Steven Nafzinger (Williams) and Ann Carlos(Colorado) pointed out that households decided notonly how much labor to supply, but also its locationin the city. These decisions may independentlyaffect labor market opportunities of the household.Carolyn Moehling (Rutgers) and Anthony Wray(Northwestern) suggested the use of census datato locate households in the city, and to evaluatethe decision of children about when to leave thehousehold. In relation to other factors that may affectlabor supply decisions, Zackary Ward (Colorado)and Paul Sharp (Southern Denmark) asked whetherthere were differences across industries or betweenfamilies from different geographic origins.Daniel Marcin (Michigan) presented “Tax RevenueAct of 1924: Publicity, Tax Cuts, and Response.” Theelasticity of income with respect to marginal net-oftaxrate (ETI) is usually estimated using anonymousaggregate data. This requires strong assumptions, suchI had written a paper on social rates of returnfor Bob Fogel’s course. I got the paper backand it says: “This is a publishable paper; youshould come and see me.” This was just thrillingbecause no one had ever said anything that niceto me. But then I noticed that the grade was a B.I went into Bob’s office. This was one of the firsttimes I’d really had a conversation with him. Isaid, “Professor Fogel, do you really think thisis a publishable paper?” He said, “Oh yes. Therewas somebody else who had written somethingsimilar in a different semester. You shouldwork with him and write it up as a note forthe Journal of Economic History.” Wow! Then Isaid, “Professor Fogel, I think you have made amistake about the grade.” He looked at me andsaid, “Hugh, this is the University of Chicago. Wehave much higher standards here than they doat the journals. They publish all kinds of crap inthe journals!” To prove it, he took an AER off theshelf behind him and opened it up to an articleby a prominent labor economist. “Look at thisarticle by … the model makes no sense, the datais no good, the conclusions don’t follow fromthe regressions, and are trivial anyway … It’s allcrap!” Then I said “Thank you for your adviceProf. Fogel,” and quickly left his office.---Hugh Rockoffas rank preservation. Are estimates sensible to theseassumptions? This paper tackles this question in thecontext of the 1924 tax cuts in the US. What makesthis setting unique is that, at the time, newspaperswere allowed to publish names, income, tax payments,and addresses of wealthy individuals. This allowsMarcin to construct a dataset in which taxpayers fromNew York and Chicago are matched across years,before and after the tax cuts. The estimated ETI forthe 1924 tax cuts are similar to the lower boundestimates using aggregate data. This suggests thatthe rank preservation assumption does not bias muchthe estimation of ETI, or in the worst scenario mightslightly overstate them.A major part of the discussion concerned thenewspaper lists. Steven Sprick Schuster (Boston)asked if rich taxpayers were willing to appear in thelists to “show off” or whether they were reluctant tobe exposed. More generally, Brendan Livingston(Rowan) and Paul Rhode (Michigan) asked if the lists11


Steven Nafziger (Williams), and others asked aboutpotential mechanisms; Steckel suggested differencesin property rights on reservations, Nafziger focusedon labor market integration off the reservation. Thediscussion then focused on the drivers of assimilation,the independent variable in Miller’s paper. CarolynMoehling (Rutgers) thought assimilation wouldhave been the outcome. James Fenske (Oxford)asked what drove variation in assimilation why thosepotential factors would not drive economic outcomes.Rick Steckel & Mike Haupertwere seen as controversial at the time, and how theywere constructed. Tax evasion also received attention,and not only by Brendan Livingston (Rowan), whoinquired if Al Capone was on the lists. Finally,Dustin Frye (Colorado) suggested exploiting the GISdimension of the data, to which the author respondedthat he was planning to see how the representatives ofthese taxpayers voted the tax reform, and whether theywere reelected.Melinda Miller (Yale) presented “Assimilation andEconomic Performance: The Case of Federal IndianPolicy.” Miller motivated the discussion of herpaper by documenting that today American Indianreservations are the poorest parts of the ted States. Thepaper traces the tension in federal American Indianpolicy between assimilation and removal. PresidentWashington’s policy focused on “civilization,”teaching the American Indians to farm or to weave,aiming to eventually incorporate Indians into thegreater US population. President Jackson endorsedremoval, evidenced by the 1830 Indian RelocationAct. The paper links historical assimilation (whichMiller argues is a proxy for the effects of federalpolicy) with economic outcomes today. To do this,Miller measures the share of Indians in each tribewith a European name in 1900, according to the 1900Federal Census. She finds that higher assimilation in1900 leads to higher per capita income today.Given the paper’s reliance on census-recordednames, Ahmed Rahman (US Naval Academy)asked whether a dual name structure might frustratemeasurement if people go by multiple names indifferent contexts. Rick Steckel (Ohio State),Bill Collins (Vanderbilt) and Marianne Wanamaker(Tennessee) ended the first day of presentations byjointly presenting “The Great Migration in Black andWhite: Racial Differences in Geographic Mobilityfrom the American South.” The paper links a sampleof southern men, both black and white, from the1910 Federal Census to the 1930 Federal Census.The sample is built by taking all men aged 0 to 40living in the South in the 5% IPUMS sample in 1910and links them forward using Ancestry.com. Collinsand Wanamaker can measure where people migrateand whether or not they do so. The paper reports thatsouthern blacks move north, but that southern whitesmove west. The results suggest that if observableswere the same (other than race) the north migrationgap would be even larger than in the raw data. Blacksalso seem more driven in migration by labor marketconditions (demand for labor) and seem to have astrong preference for Northern amenities.With the afternoon Hawaii sun baking the roomthrough the western-facing windows, many attendeesconsidered the appeal of northern migration. BobMargo (Boston) pushed for a conditional logit ratherthan the multinomial logit used in the paper, whichled to a discussion of power and big datasets. StevenNafziger (Williams) asked about the inheritability ofmobility and whether sons with more mobile fatherswere more likely to migrate. Citing a bit of personfamily history, Rick Steckel (Ohio State) asked aboutreturn migration: how to explain it and whether itwould be captured in the data. Ann Carlos (Colorado)pushed the authors to consider white-on-whitediscrimination and linguistic differences betweensouthern and northern whites, which led Collins todiscuss (and dispute) so-called Hillbilly Ghettos.12


I met Bob Fogel in the spring of 1970. I wasresearching my dissertation on urban slaveryand realized that I needed to go to the archivesat Chapel Hill and Duke. I knew that Bob andStan were also working on a big project that hadsomething to do with slavery and that they alsowanted some items searched in the archives. Itwas determined that I would go first and Bob’ssecretary, Marilyn, got me a plane ticket. WhenI returned I walked into Bob’s office. He greetedme warmly with his usual Cheshire Cat smil—from ear to ear: “Before we discuss what youfound, did you give Marilyn all your receipts?”I said, “I don’t have any receipts.”“That’s okay. Just tell her what you spent moneyon.”“I didn’t spend any money.”He looked at me like I was crazy because he hadthis big NSF grant. What was I doing not spendingmoney? He asked, “Where did you stay atDuke? ““Well, I crashed on the floor of a friend’s house”“Okay. But how did you get to Chapel Hill fromDuke?”“It was pretty simple. You take 147 to 15.”“That’s good. So where is the car receipt?”“No receipt; I hitched.”I could see he looked frightened and perplexed.He didn’t know where to go from there. He said,“Well, where did you stay in Chapel Hill?”I said,” I walked into the Southern Historical Collectionand asked a researcher where I shouldstay, and she said, ‘You must stay with me.’ I did,and we went bowling every night after the archivesclosed and ate pizza.”I could see in his eyes a twinkle. The radical inhim had reappeared and he was the hippie wannabe.He said to me, with this twinkle: “Stan isgoing to go to the archives next. Why don’t youcall him and tell him what to do?”--Claudia GoldinNamrata Kala (Yale), the paper considers the effectsof temperature on slave exports during the Atlanticslave trade. The authors draw on annual climatic datareconstructed by modern climate scientists and theEltis Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database to measureslave exports by port city. Results suggest that moreslaves were exported in colder weather. Fenske andKala argue that this result reflects the fact that thecosts of slave capture are falling with temperature.The link between temperature and slave exports isstrongest at ports near the least resilient ecosystems.Paul Rhode (Michigan) asked about the measurementof crop suitability, which was part of the specification.Specifically, Rhode suggested that the seeds measuredin the data are post-Green Revolution and that thismay lead to mismeasurement of historical suitability.This led to a discussion between Fenske, Rhode, andothers about the use of modern estimates of historicalcrop suitability measures. Les Oxley (Waikato) askedabout the effects of temperature shocks on slavesurvival rates on the trans-Atlantic voyage, whichmight shed light on the selection of slaves initially.Fenske suggested that the results for on-ship mortalitywere the same. Marlous van Waijenburg askedabout the changes in both farming and slave-raidingtechnology over time and how that might complicatethe analysis.Yannay Spitzer’s (Northwestern) paper, “Pogroms,Networks, and Migration: The Jewish Migrationfrom the Russian Empire to the U.S. 1881-1914,”examines possible causes for the large influx of Jewsfrom the Russian Empire to the U.S. between 1881and 1914. Spitzer focuses on whether the outflow ofJews from Russia is due to pogroms, or anti-Jewishmob violence. He uses the passenger lists submittedby shipping companies to the Bureau of Immigrationin Ellis Island, develops an algorithm to predictwhether a passenger was Jewish, and links passengersto the last place of residence in Russia. This data setof Jewish migrants and their last place of residenceis compared to a list of pogroms. He finds that thefirst wave of pogroms in 1881 likely is not related tosubsequent migration and finds weak support that thesecond of pogroms in 1903-1906 increased the level ofmigration.In a surprising turn of events, Spitzer was able toconvince chair Ken Snowden (UNC – Greensboro) togive him eight minutes of time to present an exampleof a particularly violent pogrom. It should be notedthat little about the paper was discussed during these14


eight minutes. Afterwards, Mark Koyama (GeorgeMason) worried about whether there was selectionbias in the Jews migrating to the U.S., as opposed toall Jewish out-migration from Russia. Spitzer pointedout that a majority of Jewish immigrants moved tothe U.S. Ann Carlos (Colorado) and Petra Moser(Stanford) offered some extensions for the paper:Carlos suggested examining who chose to migrate andwho chose to stay, while Moser suggested comparingthis to other migration stories.Mark Koyama (George Mason) presented “Fromthe Persecuting to the Protective State? JewishExpulsions and Weather Shocks from 1100 to 1800,”a paper co-authored with Robert Warren Anderson(Michigan) and Noel Johnson (George Mason). Theauthors use the Encyclopaedia Judaica (2007) to puttogether a dataset on all expulsions and persecutionsof Jews in European cities from 1100 to 1800. Theythen use historical climate data to test whether Jewishexpulsions are related to temperature shocks (a proxyfor income shocks) after controlling for urban densityand the suitability for growing wheat. They find thatthere was a significant and negative relationshipbetween expulsions and weather shocks in the fifteenthand sixteenth centuries but that this relationshipweakened after 1600. They argue that this weakeningrelationship was at least partly driven by an increase instate capacity.Yannay Spitzer (Northwestern) wondered whetherthe weakening relationship between expulsions andtemperature was more related to the gradual migrationof Jews into Eastern Europe where they enjoyed morefreedom and less persecution. There were severaldata-related questions. Steven Nafziger (Williams)and Paul Sharp (Southern Denmark) wonderedwhether wheat suitability was a good control sincerye was the most prominent crop across Central andEastern Europe. Eric Schneider (Oxford) suggestedthat absolute temperature level was less importantthan the temperature relative to the normal expectedtemperatures in living memory. Finally, severalpeople had questions about the paper’s state capacityargument. Alan Dye (Barnard) and James Fenske(Oxford) wondered whether other proxies for statecapacity could be used to more precisely identify themechanism between state capacity and expulsions.Bishnupriya Gupta (Warwick) wanted to see moreevidence on the history of conflict before expulsions.Tim Hatton (ANU and Essex) presented“American Immigration Policy: the 1965 Act and Its15The University of Hawaii.Consequences.” A steep upward trend in immigrationfollowed the amendments, together with a dramaticshift in the source country composition away fromEurope and towards Asia and Latin America. Althoughthe author recognizes that previous legislation andunintended consequences played a role, he claimsthat much of the results were due to the act itself –especially to the pattern of chain migration that itsparked.Kenneth Snowden (UNC – Greensboro) suggestedthat the Act was probably passed because of moreconditions economic conditions in the 1960s relativeto conditions before WWII or today. Ann Carlos(Colorado) asked whether family reunificationoccurred more rapidly in the case of naturalizedcitizens. She also wanted to know about familydynamics and the pattern of gender inequality insending countries. Edward Kosack (Colorado)wondered about what kind of effects the policybrought about in the US labor market. James Fenske(Oxford) pointed out that the identification strategymight not be optimal because the proxy for chainmigration is likely to pick up too many effects.Sumner La Croix (Hawai’i) suggested using laggedregressors in order to take into account dependencyover time, while Yukiko Abe (Hokkaido) stressedthe need to use region-specific trends in the analysis.Andrew Mason (Hawai’i) wondered if income hadany role in explaining the patterns observed.Christina Mumme (Tubingen) and Joerg Baten(Tubingen) analyze whether civil wars are morelikely when there is significant inequality in “DoesInequality Lead to Civil Wars? A Global Long-TermStudy Using Anthropometric Indicators (1816-1999).”They use data on civil wars from the Correlates ofWar Project, as well Clodfelter (2002). Using dataon male heights from Baten and Blum (2012), the


authors construct the coefficient of variation as ameasure of the degree of inequality. The use of height,rather than wages, is interesting for two reasons: itgreatly expands the dataset of times and places forwhich data is available, and it measures inequality inaccess to basic life-supporting resources, rather thanin comparative luxury goods. They find that heightinequality is an excellent predictor of the risk of civilwar, even when instrumented by geographic factorsassociated with inequality.Giovanni Federico (EUI) pointed out that boundarychanges could complicate the analysis. RichardSteckel (Ohio State) proposed that civil wars mightnot occur when average consumption per capita issimply too low to support strenuous physical activity:he suggested interacting inequality with average heightto test for this. Tim Hatton (ANU) worried about theextent of selection bias in the heights reported, whichis often a problem when a significant part of the datacomes from army records. John Wallis (Maryland)pointed out a pathway of alternative causation: badgovernment could lead to both inequality and higherlikelihood of civil war. Jeff Traczynski (Hawaii)suggested that transitions out of civil war could be justas informative as outcome variables as transitions intocivil war.In “Financial Market Integration in Western Europe,1400-1700; Evidence from Exchange Arbitrage,”Ling-Fan Li (LSE) analyzes the degree of integrationin fourteenth century financial markets, by consideringthe correlation in movements of foreign exchangerates across different markets. The data come from therecords of Francesco Datini, a prominent trader fromPrato who also had offices in many European cities.The paper verifies that the law of one price did in facthold: the direct and cross-exchange rates are in fact thesame, once transaction costs and information frictionsare accounted for. The analysis suggests that majorfinancial centers in the 14th century were in fact aboutas integrated as London was to Amsterdam in the 18thcentury.Giovanni Federico (EUI) asked why certain marketswere included in the analysis in preference to others.Andrea Matranga (Pompeu Fabra) pointed out thatthe paper showed that transportation costs (rather thaninstitutions) were already the binding constraint inthe early 15th century Europe. Larry Neal (Illinois)argued that, while Datini was not as politicallyinfluential as some of the more famous Florentinefamilies, he could not be considered modest (as hewas introduced in the paper). Neal also lamented thelack of observations from Genoa, one of the economicpowerhouses of the time.Peter Sims (LSE) presented “From Chaos to Order:National Consolidation and Sovereign Bonds inUruguay 1890-1914.” The paper, co-authored withStephanie Collet (ESCP Europe) uses the case ofUruguay from 1889 to 1914 to test how investorsin the bond market reacted to news about stateconsolidation. By adapting structural VAR modeland using weekly price data, the paper argues that, inthe case of Uruguay, expectations of war and peacemainly determine investor’s perception of sovereignrisk.The first part of the discussion mainly raised questionson the interpretation of the results. John Wallis(Maryland) and others concerned that the paper overemphasizedthe monopoly of force. The second partof the discussion was centered on the methodology.Alan Dye (Barnard) wanted more robustness checksand Beverly Lemire (Alberta) wanted data at differentfrequencies. Mathew Jaremski (Colgate) pointedout that connecting the breaks to their possiblecauses would enrich the paper. Melinda Miller(Yale) suggested applying the methodology to othercountries, especially Uruguay.Steven Nafzinger (Williams) presented “RussianSerfdom, Emancipation, and Land Inequality: NewEmpirical Evidence.” The paper is motivated by agrowing literature on whether and how the institutionof slavery and the emancipation process mattered forsubsequent economic outcomes in Africa and the US.The paper brings Russia into the analysis. With a richset of newly collected data at the district level, thepaper first details the geographic variation in serfdomand emancipation across European Russia. The causallink between serfdom, emancipation, and economicperformance is established by exploiting variationin monastic expropriation following the 1764 edict,which transferred former serf population under statecontrol. Districts in which more peasants were freed in1764 are nowadays performing relatively better. Thesuggested channel of persistence is land concentration.The discussion revolved around issues of causality.Andrei Markevich (New Economic School) andHelen Yang (George Mason) pointed out that districtsthat, after 1764, saw more peasants transferred to statecontrol might be inherently different than those inwhich monastic properties remained untouched. As16


Jessica Bean (Denison) suggested, this endogeneityproblem resembles the one faced by studies dealingwith the effect of enclosures in Britain. Along thesame line, Yannay Spitzer (Northwestern) remindedthe audience of the differences between Polish andMuscovite serfdom, which may affect the processof emancipation. In particular, in Poland the processwas more regulated to prevent land to fall in catholic.Leonard Dudley (Montréal) and Evan Roberts(Minnesota Population Center) argued that otherinstitutional changes in education and labor marketstook place after 1764, and may also affect today’seconomic performance.Rodrigo Parral Duran (Arizona) presented“Contractual Commitments in New Spain: The LocalAllocation of Quicksilver in Zacatecas, 1740-80.”The paper seeks to understand how informal creditmechanisms emerge by considering the silver industry.In the 16 th century, the refining of silver relied onquicksilver. Quicksilver was scarce, and the SpanishCrown held a monopoly over its supply. It requiredfinancially constrained miners to either pay for thequicksilver in cash or provide their lands/mines ascollateral for credit, providing their lands/mines ascollateral. Soon enough, informal credit relationsbetween miners and other actors emerged, helping toreduce the risk associated with silver production. Inparticular, two mechanisms were used: Buying andrepaying debts and cross-collaterals.The discussion was focused on two points. First, thesource of volatility in silver refining was discussed.It would seem, as Yannay Spitzer (Northwestern)pointed out, that mineral extraction and mineralquality would be quite predictable. The supply ofmercury by the Crown doesn’t seem to add muchuncertainty, as the author and Paul Castañeda Dower(New Economic School) agreed. The second pointconcerned why, in some periods, the outstanding debtsby miners did not led to foreclosures by the Crown.This point, raised by Peter Sims (LSE) and PriceFishback (Arizona), is crucial, since it is precisely inthese periods of lax debt enforcement that informalmechanisms arise.Alfredo García-Hiernaux (Universidad Complutensede Madrid) presented “West Versus East: GrainMarket Integration and the Great Divergence.” Thepaper, co-authored with Rafael Dobado-González(also, Universidad Complutense de Madrid), examineswheat prices in European cities and Pennsylvania andrice prices in Asian cities to see if, and when, priceCliometrics is a picnic!convergence occurs. National integration is inspectedfirst, with similar levels of integration in both Eastand West. Internationally, Western nations tend toconverge to one price while China and Japan show noconvergence.Gabriele Cappelli (European Institute) started outthe discussion by asking if the empirics controlled forcountries or technological innovations. Tuan-HweeSng (Singapore) stated that Asian countries weretrading goods other than rice, and that there should beprice convergence in those goods. Giovanni Federico(European Institute) disapproved of the co-integrationmethods, stating that they do not really measuremarket integration, but rather efficiency after a shock.Theresa Gutberlet (Arizona) asked if restrictive tradepolicy could be the reason for the lack of integrationin between Japan and China. García-Hiernaux agreedthat it was. Masanori Takashima (Hitotsubashi)wondered if the analysis could be extended backto earlier years, and was told that the data is notavailable. Ross Knippenberg (Colorado) asked if therice in China and Japan was the same variety, sincea shock to only one variety would look the same as alack of market integration. García-Hiernaux said hewas looking into the types and qualities of rice. HelenYang (George Mason) said that grain prices over thisperiod in China were controlled and stabilized by thegovernment which could be driving the divergence.In “Birds of Passage: Self-Selection of ReturnMigrants in the Early 20th Century,” Zachary Ward(Colorado) looks at the characteristics of returnmigrants from the United States during the earlytwentieth century. The number of migrants whoreturned home to their native countries is believed17


to have been substantial, with the assumption oftenmade that return migrants were somehow “failed”migrants. Using data collected from the from annualadministrative records released by the Departmentof Immigration from 1908-1930, the author findsthat Eastern European migrants have negative selfselection(those returning are earning less than thosethat remain in the United States), while the story ismore mixed for Western European countries. Asianand Western hemisphere return migrants are foundto have earned more than those who stayed. Finallythe author estimates a model of return migrant selfelectionto explore the impact of quota restrictionsintroduced in the early 1920s. The results show thatquota restrictions influenced both the quality ofincoming migrants and the quality of those deciding toremain in the United States.Marianne Wanamaker (Tennessee) began thediscussion by asking about whether it was wise toassume that all individuals falling into a particularoccupational category earned the same wage.Farley Grubb (Delaware) stated that in a worldwithout divorce migrating may be a substitute, astatement that brought forth a hearty laugh fromthe attendees! A question that arose on a number ofoccasions was whether the business cycle playedin the decision to return migrate. Joyce Burnette(Wabash College) wondered about the effect ofunemployment while Wayne Liou (Hawai’i) askedabout the macroeconomic conditions in the homecountry. Kris Inwood (Guelph) wished to knowwhether the data could uncover whether individualsdefinitely returned to their home country or migratedto a different country. A number of attendees to giveaccounts of their own family’s migration histories,which underlined the complex issues surrounding thedecision to migrate.the chair interrupted and reminded him to ask justone. Qian carried on with his questions, undeterred.Jeremy Atack (Vanderbilt) noted that prices shouldhave been rising as redemption approached, but thisfact is missing from the data. Alex Field (Santa Clara),Larry Neal (Illinois), and John Wallis asked clarifyingquestions about taxation, collection, and the retirementof the continental dollar. Peter Sims (LSE) thoughtthat if the stability of the continental dollar was indoubt, that there might be evidence of a flight to safeassets, like land.Alex Hollingsworth (Arizona) presented “The Impactof Sanitaria on Pulmonary Tuberculosis Mortality:Evidence from North Carolina, 1932-1940.” The paperuses models from epidemiology to isolate the mostplausible mechanism for transmission and death fromtuberculosis. The paper finds that white residents ofNorth Carolina benefited from sanitaria, while AfricanAmericans did not. The most likely mechanismsfor these effects are considered to be education andisolation of infected patients.Pamela Nickless (UNC—Asheville) asked about theracial composition of these sanitaria. Group discussionindicated that most were segregated, and that the Dukeendowment may have data on hospitals and sanitariathat they funded. This would cover 25% of thesanitaria. Melissa Thomasson (Miami Ohio) thoughtthat the number of hospital beds in each countybelonged in the analysis, in case they were substitutesfor sanitaria. Paul Rhode (Michigan) complainedthat when he lived in North Carolina, the roads werelong and winding, and as such, Alex should use roaddistance to sanitaria rather than as-the-crow-fliesdistance.Farley Grubb (Delaware) presented “The ContinentalDollar: Initial Design, Ideal Performance, and theCredibility of Congressional Commitment.” Thepaper is expected to be chapter 3 of a forthcomingbook on early American currency. The paper analyzesthe history of the continental dollar, which featured amaturity date that gave it similarity to today’s savingsbond. Due to ex post facto changes in the maturitydates of these bonds, the value of the continentaldollar also changed.Qian Lu (Maryland) led off the questioning byrisking the ire of the chair and his advisor, JohnWallis (Maryland). As Qian asked his fourth question,After the sessions, the beach.18


Rainbow Warrior Report from World Clio 2013Clioms gathered on the island retreat for their quadrennialgathering known as the World Congressof Cliometrics. Hosted by the man whose nameresembles the weather here, the tribe of Clio gathered,ruminated, discussed, and pronounced wisdom.Well, not always wisdom. That is why the RainbowWarrior is here.What is a Rainbow Warrior? In a time not too longago, the nickname of University of Hawaii sportsteams was the “Rainbows.” But then the head footballcoach concluded that the name was an impedimentto player recruiting. He and his allies forcedthrough a change in the nickname to “Warriors.”This upset the fans who valued tradition. when theathletic director was fired this year, a compromisewas struck. UH would be neither the Rainbows northe Warriors, but instead would be the Rainbow Warriors.The name embodies the fighting spirit and thediversity of views, peoples, and interests of both theUniversity of Hawaii and the Cliometric Society.The Rainbow Warrior is here not to pass judgment,but to record history. He reports what he hears andparses out what is irrelevant, uninteresting, and justplain dull. Okay, so maybe he does pass a little bit ofjudgment while also recording what he truly believesto be history. But be reminded that any judgment hepasses needs to be so passed. The Rainbow Warrioris trained to ferret out those observations and arguments,those claims and criticisms, those conjecturesand absent-minded utterances that may have goneunnoticed in the heat of discussion, but which, uponreflection, prove to be profound and universal truths.He acknowledges only those things said spontaneously,not the premeditated, planned, or carefullyconsidered. Nothing requiring forethought appeals tothe Rainbow Warrior.19The Rainbow Warrior was busy with the Congressadministration (and assembling break food), so hewas not able to attend all of the Congress sessions.So how did he learn about those spectacular statementsat sessions that potentially would be evaluatedas pithy, profound and universally true? The RainbowWarrior called a contact at the National SecurityAdministration and asked for the tapes of all sessions.His contact requested a warrant and the RainbowWarrior replied that his report needed no warrantas it had been authorized by the Board of Trusteesof the Cliometric Society. No problem, the NSA responded,and the tapes were turned over forthwith.Each year on the occasion of the Clio banquet,candles are lit and Clioms enter a trance-like statewhile reciting the inaugural winner: “Never open acan of worms larger than the universe.” Homage isthen paid to the winner, She-who-won-three-timesand-is-now-no-longer-eligible-to-win-again.Thisyear the Rainbow Warrior hoped to find a winnerwho could proudly take his or her place next to lastyear’s honoree, the Wildcat Counter, whose name hasforever been entered into the pantheon of Cliodomfor his brilliant observation that “You can fix it withwomen.”The tropical climate lulled many a participant into afalse state of confidence. Certain that the trade windswould blow away any unseemly insights and thatthe laid back atmosphere—Did the Rainbow Warriorreally see the elder statesman of all things financialwearing shorts?—would be more forgiving, Cliomswere perhaps less careful than usual.The Rainbow Warrior began his quest for worthystatements by searching the NSA tapes for key Clioismslike “gangsters,” “cocaine,” “prostitutes,” and“F-bombs.” Only the Don from South of the Bayhad uttered each of these words, and he hit them allin the opening sentence of his presentation! He immediatelyleapt to the top of the leaderboard. Then,remembering that a leaderboard does not actuallyexist, the Rainbow Warrior promptly eliminated himfrom further consideration.As usual, Clioms tended to clump. This year theRainbow Warrior was able to recognize a couple ofthemes to the observations. The first theme may betitled “Inquiring minds want to know.” In this categorythe Rainbow Warrior overheard the PostmasterDown Under ask if “doctors are really just farmerswho do something different one day a week?” TheRainbow Warrior does not know much about westernmedical practice, but knows that he will not be askingthe Postmaster for medical advice.Also in this category would be the enthusiastic querymade by the Sartorial King of the First State, whoeagerly asked “When do I rush to the Treasury to paymy taxes?!” When indeed? Would that the RainbowWarrior had any income on which to pay taxes. Heis too busy pondering other issues, such as those


ought up by the Volunteer, who asked “Can youobserve people where they actually are?”Another identifiable theme around which Cliomsseemed to ruminate was “family.” There were manydeep and thought-provoking statements on thistopic. The Matron Buffalo asked if “young womenthink they’re going to get one of the few men left?”In response, though admittedly not to that particularquestion, the Rainbow Warrior heard the BeanCounter say that “If you don’t get married, you endup living with another woman.” This might explaina lot. But what if you do get married? Well, thenwe might follow the direction of the aforementionedSartorial King who admitted: “In a world withoutdivorce I’d leave town.”The subject of children was also a popular topic ofdiscussion. What exactly children are like was theparticular topic. The Young Buffalo claimed that“young men and young women are complementsfor each other.” Not too fast though, because not allClioms believe this to be true. The Youthful Donasserted that “Children and electricity are complementsfor each other.” Now the Rainbow Warrioris confused, though he tends to agree with The Manwith the Judicial Name that “it sounds bad to starveyour wife and children.” Never mind about whetherit actually is bad to starve them. It’s all about image.Some pearls of wisdom stand alone, and are worthyof individual recognition from the Rainbow Warrior.He grants to the Cow Man the award for UnassailableSelf Esteem for his bold proclamation “Howterrible an idea would this be?” On a somewhat depressingnote, the Rainbow Warrior grants the awardfor bleak choices to the Wolverine of the East fornoting that “There are people who can out-migrateand people who are incarcerated.” She did not,however, reveal which she preferred.None of these, however, rose to the level of seriousconsideration for the ultimate award of eternal recognition.The Rainbow Warrior reminds his readersthat to be entered into the Lexicon of Eternal ClioWisdom, the observation must be both profound anduniversally true. With that in mind, Rainbow Warriorintroduces the finalists.The offering of first runner-up grabbed the attentionof the Rainbow Warrior because of its familiarity.The Youthful Don noted that “the optimal model isthe female sacrifice model.” Profound, perhaps evenuniversally true. But too close to last year’s winnerto cop the award. The Rainbow Warrior cannotbe sure that this gem was not slipped in by carefullyplanned subterfuge.Also very close to being a winner was the admissionof the Maryland Crab that “I don’t know what structuraleconometrics is, but this paper needs it.” TheRainbow Warrior wonders what is more profound inthis case, the statement, or the man making it. Unableto be certain, he cannot anoint this a winner.“Farmers are tricky.” The Physicist in Cliom Clothinglet us in on this secret. Very close. Profound.But universally true? The Rainbow Warrior thinksnot. He knows several farmers who are actually deceitful,not tricky.The Patent Clerk breathlessly informed the gatheredthrong that “if you know how to whittle, or some otheruseful skill, you may be less likely to move.” Obviouslythis is universally true. But having watchedmany episodes of Mayberry RFD and the BeverlyHillbillies, the Rainbow Warrior is not convinced ofits profundity.This year the Rainbow Warrior faced a dilemma.There were quotes that were worthy of winning. Butboth could not win. That would fly in the face of allthat is held sacred in Cliodom. Fortunately, however,a solution was at hand because both statements wereproclaimed by the same man, within the span of afew moments. Indeed, our Sailor Statistician firstinformed us that he was nearly lost in “the swirlingvortex of endogeneity.” This is close to being a winner,but the Rainbow Warrior couldn’t really figureout what it meant. He had an easy out however,because mere moments later, obviously after havingswirled in said vortex, our Sailor revealed that “witheach country added, a chunk of life goes by.” Astatement worthy of eternal recognition.Even with the plethora of material to work with, itultimately became an easy decision. After all, thatis what the Rainbow Warrior is paid so handsomelyto do –make the difficult look easy. To identify thatwhich is at the same time profound yet universallytrue. In the end, it all seems so easy. Until next year,Aloha.20


Thursday, June 20Dustin Frye (Colorado) chaired the presentation byPetra Moser (Stanford) on “Dead Poet’s Property:Copyright and the price of intellectual assets”. Thepaper is coauthored with Xing Li (Stanford) andMegan MacGarvie (Boston Univ.). The papermeasures the effect of increased copyright length in19 th century Britain on the price of novels by deadauthors. The bottom line of the paper is that longercopyright is effective in raising prices.Alessandro Nuvolari (Sant’Anna) asked about theeffect of rising prices on the quantity demanded.Moser replied that the price elasticity of demandwas quite high but the paper is concerned with thecreativity effect, too. Creativity does not seem tobe affected by copyright, but the sample is small.Peter Sims (LSE) asked whether some discount rateshould be included, as the period considered in quitelong. Moser explained that authors were not veryrational in assessing their own chances of becomingsuccessful, overestimating them by a lot. On the otherhand, publishers are very rational about it. MarcGoñi Tràfach (UPF) asked whether the books wereI went to the University of Chicago in 1970intending to study math econ and did very wellin the first quarter course taught by Stan Fisher,but I needed employment to survive financially.In the spring of 1971 I interviewed for an RA jobwith Bob Fogel, who I was surprised to findtape-recording my interview, as if it was worthsaving for posterity. Mystified but intrigued,I discovered that Bob had projects underwayon slavery and on a new approach to teachingprinciples of economics. I chose the slaveryproject, for which my first task was to beginreading classic books in the field. Soon weengaged in numerous conversations on slaveryand I began attending the economic historyworkshop. Given my long-standing interest inhistory, which here I discovered could be blendedwith economics, I was hooked and never lookedback. Here was a workshop and a field withintellectual presence.The workshop was exciting partly becauseBob was absolutely convinced—and conveyedhis excitement—that our projects, and all thepapers given at the workshop, were immenselyimportant to the profession. When it came timeto choose a dissertation topic, I was told that Ibought to be read or to be shown off by rich peopleand whether there is any difference between the twocases. The presenter explained that the reason behindthe purchase does not matter because the mechanismis the same. Alan Dye (Barnard) asked whetherpublishers and writers were aware of the effect thatcopyright was having. Moser said that they had startedrealizing it.Michelangelo Vasta (Siena) and AlessandroNuvolari (Sant’Anna) presented “IndependentInvention in Italy during the Liberal Age, 1861-1913.”The chair was Gabriele Cappelli (EUI). The paperintroduces a dataset on Italian patents and inventors.The goal is to study the quality of patents released toindependent inventors compared to corporate ones.The main result of the paper is that Italian independentinventors were patenting inventions that were lessinnovative compared to the corporate ones.Petra Moser (Stanford) started the discussionpointing out that the authors use renewal rather thanthe standard measure of citations to assess quality. Shewas worried that renewals were cash constrained. Theauthors replied that citations were not available, butwould become the world’s leading expert on theeconomics of slave and southern white fertility.Fortified with enthusiasm, I made numeroustrips to the archives in search of data for mydissertation and for Bob and Stan’s project onslavery.I began by describing my first encounter with BobFogel; at some point Bob also discussed his firstmeeting with his advisor, Simon Kuznets. Bobhad carefully prepared a two page-single spaceddocument describing the research he wanted to doon railroads, which included work on estimatinginterregional commodity flows. Kuznets glancedat the document for perhaps 10 to 20 seconds (hewas a very fast reader) and to Bob’s amazementhe began critiquing his proposal. In particular,Bob had described only one method of estimatingcommodity flows and that there were threeothers. Simon then told Bob “don’t come back tosee me until you figure out what they are.” Thiscomment would have tanked most graduatestudents, but Bob accepted it as a challenge, justlike many other projects of his career.---Rick Steckel21


Preparing for the first day of the conference.a future step will be to compare the cost of renewalwith the average wage to show that the cost of renewalwas not an issue. Antonio Tena (Carlos III) askedif there is any North-South pattern. Patents from theNorthwest were of higher quality. When questionedby Gabriele Cappelli (EUI) on the impact of theinventions, the authors said that these were smallincremental inventions rather than breakthroughs.Finally, Giovanni Federico (Pisa) suggested that thislower level of innovation compared to the US was dueto the lack of quality control by the patent system.Ross Knippenberg (Colorado) presented “By HowMuch Did Railroads Conquer the West?” in whichhe studies the role that railroads had on integratingmarkets in the middle to late nineteenth century UnitedStates. Using a dataset of prices of 13 commodities for283 locations over the years 1851-1892, he calculatesthe price gaps between various locations to determinewhether gaps fall when a railroad connection is built.To deal with the potential endogeneity between thesetwo variables, he uses an instrumental variablesapproach to predict which cities should be connectedby the railroad (based on population, ruggedness andelevation change). There are three important results:first, the price level appears to have been higher inconnected cities; second, cities connected by therailroad had a 70% lower price gap than unconnectedcities; third, there were substantial differences in thebehavior of prices for agricultural and manufacturedgoods and between Eastern and Western cities.Several participants were concerned about therailway connection variable. Giovanni Federico(EUI) wondered whether a simple connected versusunconnected dummy could capture changes incompetition after locations became connected tothe railroad. Jeremy Atack (Vanderbilt), after someprompting from Bob Margo, pointed out that onemust measure connectedness for the late nineteenthcentury first with the newest, most accurate maps,and then move back in time because the older mapsare not as accurate. Ann Carlos (Colorado) imploredRoss—and everyone in the room—not to forget aboutCanada because there were important railroad linesnorth of the Great Lakes. John Wallis (Maryland)noted that railroad connection was not just whether acity was on the railroad: distribution networks wereimportant in determining price dynamics, and therewere also substantial benefits if you were located ata place where two major railroads crossed. Finally,Bob Margo (Boston) was slightly worried that theretrospective prices reported in the Aldrich andWeeks reports would be biased since only successfulmerchants that had records for thirty or more yearswere included. He wondered whether it would bepossible to use prices in newspapers to expand thenumber of locations and check the retrospectiveprices.In “Technology Shocks, Relative Productivity, andSon Preference: The Long-Term Impact of HistoricalTextile Production,” Meng Xue (George Mason)argues that a technological shock in cotton textileproduction in the 13 th century empowered Chinesewomen by increasing woman’s productivity relativeto men. The lower productivity gap created a genderculture of greater equality in counties where cottontextile production was common. Thus, counties withcotton textile production in the Yuan Dynasty havelower levels of son preference today, as measured bythe sex ratio at birth in the 2000 census. In order tocontrol for the potential endogeneity between earlygender culture and cotton textile production, she useshumidity as a IV for textile suitability and providesadditional historical analysis.Bishnupriya Gupta (Warwick) wondered if it wouldbe possible to control for family structure sincesons can serve as insurance for parents’ welfare inlater life. Se Yan (Peking) noted that there are othermeasures for son preference, such as educationalinvestments, and wondered whether Yuan cottontextile production would also affect these measures.He also suggested that Meng utilize sex ratios atbirth from the 1980 census since China’s one-childpolicy might have changed the mechanisms drivingson preference in different ways in different parts ofChina. Mark Koyama (George Mason) wondered ifthere is any county-level information on foot-binding.22


Chiaki Moriguchi (Hitotsubashi) noted that forms ofinheritance would also influence son preference. EvanRoberts (Minnesota) added that the China multigenerationalpanel dataset has lots of households andregions and could provide household level dependentvariables. Alex Field (Santa Clara) wondered whetherthe new cotton textile technology was particularlysuited to women, either physically or culturally.Brooks Kaiser (Southern Denmark) presented“Bioeconomic Factors of Natural ResourceTransitions: The US Sperm Whale Fishery of the19 th Century,” in which she describes the transitionfrom whale oil to petroleum and its impact on whalepopulations. She uses an instrumental variablesapproach to estimate structural parameters in thedemand and cost functions for the whaling industry.Using these estimates as well as population estimatesby whale biologists, she simulates the whalepopulation over time under optimal harvest for avariety of plausible demand conditions. She concludesthat although the whaling industry would have takena toll on sperm whale populations, claims that thediscovery of petroleum was responsible for saving thewhales are probably overstated.Eric Hilt (Wellesley) started the discussion withconcerns about the methodology and the lack ofattention paid to other populations of whales, whichwhere inferior but close substitutes, in the demandestimates. The author responded that the other typesof whales are very different in biology and not wantedfor the same things, but Hilt urged Kaiser to researchthe point further. Melinda Miller (Yale), armed withwhaling knowledge from a recent trip to a museumin Mystic, noted the unpleasantness of whaling andsuggested that the impact on the relative cost inrecruitment should be included in the cost function.Larry Neal (Illinois), after admitting he didn’t readthe paper, asked why the Americans were so good atwhaling and why the whalers wouldn’t have deviseda way to self-regulate this common resource problem,a point echoed by Melissa Thomasson (Miami ofOhio).Dustin Frye (Colorado) presented “Politics,Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Growth:Understanding the Distributional Consequences of theInterstate Highway System,” in which he describesthe largest public infrastructure program in the historyof the ted States. He identifies the impact of theInterstate Highway System on various demographicand economic outcomes in rural America. He utilizesan historic military plan in an instrumental variablesstrategy to overcome the problem of endogenousplacement of highways. Quantile regressionsdecompose the distributional effects of the interstatehighways. He finds that the highways did indeedaffect the economic and demographic landscape ofthe rural United States, and that the impacts were feltdifferently across counties depending on their initialposition in the distribution.Ahmed Rahman (US Naval Academy) opened thediscussion by expressing concerns about spatialautocorrelation. The discussion quickly turned topolitics, however, as Brooks Kaiser (SouthernDenmark) suggested taking a look at whether thepoliticians doing the politicking actually got what theywanted. John Wallis (Maryland) insisted that the keyis really state politics since the federal government hadvery little control over how the states used the moneyfor highways. Bob Margo (Boston) was concernedabout the large number of outcomes and the lackof integration between them; he suggested that theauthor focus on demography in order to differentiatehis paper from other papers on the Interstate System.Rick Steckel (Ohio State ) noted that many focus onthe benefits of infrastructure but not the costs, andsuggested that the author use the same frameworkin an analysis of costs. Marianne Wanamaker(Tennessee) echoed this concern for costs when shewondered whether economic activity related to thehighways was a zero sum game. Petra Moser (Stanford, NBER), after admitting that her knowledge ofhighways came from Cars and Lightening McQueen,wanted to know what happened to towns that werebypassed.The discussion continues after the session ends.23


standardized language) are the key determinant ofsuccessful innovation.Matt Jaremski chairs the presentation by Se Yan.In “It’s All in the Mail: the Urban Geography of theGerman Empire,” Florian Ploeckl (Oxford) analyzesthe economic geography of Imperial Germanywith a new methodology that distinguishes thedifferential impact of endowments of natural resourcesfrompreexisting human activities. He uses a threestepapproach. (1)He uses data on business mail tocalculate a measure of information intensity, whichis used in conjunction with geographic distance todetermine the degree of market access. (2) He feedsmarket access and population size in a New EconomicGeography-inspired model to back out a value ofnatural resources for each location. (3) He measuresthe differential effect of information intensity andthe value of resources in determining the observedpopulation distribution.Leonard Dudley (Montreal) asked whether the statereally held a monopoly of the mail within the GermanEmpire. Peter Sims (LSE) warned that the use ofmail as a proxy for trade could be misleading if firmsdiffered widely in the size of their average orders.Alan Dye (Barnard) suggested that insight could begained by segmenting mail flow by speed of delivery.Alessandro Nuvolari (Sant’Anna) asked for a moreprecise definition of cooperation in invention. FarleyGrubb (Delaware) pointed out that only extraordinarypolitical developments could lead to cooperationbetween a Scot such as James Watt and an Englishmanlike Matthew Boulton. Petra Moser (Stanford)asked: When does positive cooperation become anticompetitivecollusion? Andrea Matranga (PompeuFabra) proposed that cooperation in inventing an ideais distinct from cooperation in manufacturing andmarketing a product. The use of “Date of EarliestDictionary” as a control variable proved contentious:Giovanni Federico (EUI) worried that in practice itis really dummy variable indicating “French”, andMichelangelo Vasta (Siena) expressed certainty thatItalian had a vocabulary well before the date shown inthe paper.Claude Diebolt (BETA) presented “A New MonthlyChronology of the U.S. Industrial Cycles in the PrewarEconomy.” The paper estimates business cycle startand end dates using several methodologies. While thenew method identifies 90% of the business cycles thatboth the NBER and Romer and Romer find, the datesare earlier. Interestingly, while NBER data show thatexpansions were longer in the interwar period, thepaper finds the opposite.Eugene White (Rutgers) pointed out that one of thelargest date discrepancies is the 1929 crash. Les Oxley(Waikato) noted that there may be flaws in the newmethodologies. Alexandru Minea (Auvergne CERDI)asked about the usefulness of the Markov switchingapproach and wondered if smooth transition modelsmay be useful.In “Necessity’s Children? The Inventions of theIndustrial Revolution,” Leonard Dudley examinesthe conditions under which innovation flourishsin spite of less-than-ideal market conditions. Forexample, between 1700 and 1850, aristocraticFrance saw many useful inventions, while the morecommercially minded Netherlands saw very littleinnovation. The paper uses a dataset of 117 importantinventions and finds that innovation ideology andinstitutions had little effect on the propensity toinnovate. Instead, it seems that ability of people fromdifferent backgrounds to communicate with eachother (mediated by an open social structure and a24There is a debate in the literature over the extent towhich American capital overwhelmed the Cubaneconomy after its independence in 1898. Thisdebate steams from the lack of domestic investmentfigures to compare with FDI. In “Where Are Allthe Yankees?” Alan Dye (Barnard) overcomes thisissue by focusing on the sugar industry. Dye collectsinformation on annual increments of the grindingcapacity of sugar mills, on the building of new mills,and on mill sells. The evidence suggests that, contraryto conventional wisdom, the recovery after 1898was led by domestic entrepreneurship and domesticinvestment. In the second wave of investment intothe sugar industry, right before WWI, Cuban and


creole mill owners were not forced to sell becausethey were financially constrained, but they did so asan “exit strategy.” Finally, American money flew inat large rates in this second wave, but it could be saidthat the major change this “invasion” brought was theadoption of new business practices that facilitated theconsolidation of multiple mills under a single ownerand management.Eugene White (Rutgers) opened the discussion bysuggesting that Dye extend the scope of the paper tocompare US FDI in Cuba with that in the rest of theworld, with special attention to Puerto Rico and thePhilippines. In addition, he said, it would be nice touse Cuba as a natural experiment, because it saw asudden period of great openness after independenceand then a sudden shut down with the establishmentof the Communist regime. Bishnupriya Gupta(Warwick) agreed, and further proposed a comparisonwith British colonies, in which the Empire tightlycontrolled the export market and, thus, entry and exitinto the market. Several discussants raised doubtsover how the nationality of the mill owner wasdefined. David Mitch (Maryland) argued that therelation between cane producers (supplier) and sugarmills (producer) would be much easier for Cubanowners, and thus that mill ownership could be biasedtowards Cubans. Marta Felis (versidad Autonomade Madrid) noted that Spaniards bought more millsafter the Cuban independence from Spain in 1898.The author explained that this comes from the factthat many of those recorded as Spaniards were in factCuban creoles. Much of the remaining discussion wasfocused on understanding what explained the increasein production capacity of Cuban Mills. In particular,Brendan Livingston (Rowan) asked why the Cubansbuilt so much capacity during WWI, knowing the warwas not to last forever. Dye explained that the growthin capacity at that time was not only meant to getadvantage of the war, but also to compete in the longrun in the global market.Warren Anderson (Michigan–Dearborn) followedup the Bob Fogel tribute at lunch by presenting hispaper “The Inquisition and Scholarship.” The paperexamines the effects of the Inquisition on the numberof geniuses in a country, as defined by The CompleteDictionary of Scientific Biography. Though somepropose that the censorship during the Inquisition’sdid not have a large effect because of a lack of strictenforcement, Anderson finds that the Inquisition hadsignificant negative effects on the number of geniusesliving in countries affected by it.Many members of the audience wanted a carefulrethink of the definitions of scholarship and geniuses.Tim Hatton (ANU) wondered about selection bias,Florian Ploeckl (Oxford) was concerned abouta substitution effect and proposed that intelligentmembers of society might become lawyers insteadof scientists. Matthew Jaremski (Colgate) and BobMargo (Boston) encouraged Anderson to expand hisdefinition of genius to include cultural geniuses suchas composers. Eric Schneider (Nuffield) and Jaremskisuggested at looking at long term effects, such as theprobability of generating future geniuses. Anderson’spaper seemed to infer that scholarship is a zerosumgame among countries, so James Feigenbaum(Harvard) wanted Anderson to look more closely atthe total number of geniuses.Wayne Liou (Hawaii) presented on how the 1898annexation of Hawai’i by the United States changedthe market for sugar labor in Hawai’i. The annexationvoided all indenture contracts. Hawai’i had a largepool of Japanese migrant workers that came toHawai’i for a couple of years to work on the sugarplantations before returning home. The paper usedplantation pay records to explore how the distributionof wages changed after the annexation. Liou findsthat wages increased and days worked decreased. Heexplores possible mechanisms such as changes inmigration patterns.Price Fishback (left) and Jeremy Atack (right) model the latest in Fellows-wear.Tim Hatton (ANU) opened the conversation byasking how Japanese workers paid for their return25


journey back home and whether the number of returnmigrants would be large enough to increase the laborsupply in Japan. Pamela Nickless (North Carolina– Asheville) asked whether plantation laborers wereexploited, as she has been led to believe by fictionalaccounts, and whether workers were compensatedin-kind with room and board. Melissa Thomasson(Miami of Ohio) asked if pay was at a daily rateor a piece-rate, and Jessica Bean (Denison) askedhow the workers were monitored. Carola Frydman(Boston) wondered if the plantation owners expectedthe change and supported it to gain access to the USmarket.Marc Goni (Pompeu Fabra) looks at assortativematching a new light in “Institutional Innovation andAssortative Matching: The London Season 1700-1914,” by exploring high class society’s meetings atthe London Season. Using records on occupations,Among other things I remember about Bob Fogelare his generosity and the impact of his teaching.Even though I never took a course from Bob, I haveseen the effect of his teaching. In the 1980s I wasan advisor in the undergraduate honors program atthe University of Kansas. One of my responsibilitieswas to offer 10 to 15 students a semester-longtutorial in their first year. It was supposed to be ona topic that would open their minds to a new thing.I had them see what a traditional historian (U.B.Phillips) thought about slavery and then what thenew work in Time on the Cross was all about. Italked with Bob about giving a seminar to my colleaguesand talking informally with these students.I was surprised when he said, “I’d be delighted.”I think he came down because I offered him theopportunity to talk with undergraduates. He talkedwith them for about an hour. The short run impactof his talking with these kids was that, at our nextmeeting, they were much more interested in thistopic. In the longer run he also had an impact. Sixor seven years later, I got a letter from one of thestudents with a news clipping and a note saying:“I think this was the guy that talked to us. Did youknow he won the Nobel Prize?” Recently, I trackedthis “kid” down and said, “Given that you rememberedBob Fogel when he won the Nobel, I thoughtyou might be interested in this unfortunate news [ofhis death].” He wrote back: “You know, I still havefond memories of that experience.” I couldn’t agreemore.---Tom Weissland rents, and attendance rates, Goni finds that thetimes when more people attended the Season, therewas more assortative matching – it was more likelyfor an upper-class individual to marry somebody elseupper-class rather than a commoner. He consideresthe massive increases in attendance from the CrystalPalace fair and decreases in attendance after QueenVictoria canceled many balls after the death of PrinceAlbert as exogenous variation in the number attendingthe ball.After many references to Jane Austen, theconversation really got started when MarianneWanamaker (Tennessee) asked if there was a sampleselection problem since people who do not get marriedare not observed. Paul Rhode (Michigan) suggestedthe paper might be called “Greg Clark is Wrong” sincethe data seem to contradict Clark’s arguments aboutchanges in inequality. Yannay Spitzer (Northwestern) wondered whether the London Season could reallybe separated from the size of the overall marriagemarket. Melinda Miller (Yale) asked how manypeople left the market to marry people in India if theywere not successful in London. After a final referenceto Downton Abbey, the conversation ended on adiscussion of arranged marriages.In “The Savings and Loan Crisis in the Shadow of the2000s” Alexander J. Field (Santa Clara ) comparesthe impact of the S&L insolvencies of the 1980son the performance of the wider economy to thepredicted impact of the current economic situation. Heconcludes that the S&L insolvencies did not create amacroeconomically significant crisis. The cumulativeoutput loss attributed to them is far less than that ofthe most recent crisis, even if the economic slowdownof the early 1990s can indeed be directly attributed tothe S&L insolvencies, there was no “crisis.”Rick Steckel (Ohio State) was concerned thatthe blame for the current and ongoing economicdifficulties was being placed on the financialcrisis while the impact of policy since the crisis isoverlooked. Jeremy Atack (Vanderbilt) asked aboutthe specific geography of the Savings and Loansinsolvencies and the scope for localized externalities,to which the author replied that this was exactly thepoint; the S&L insolvencies were localized events.Larry Neal (Illinois) asked whether the resolutionof the S&L insolvencies stopped the situation fromgetting worse and whether there was any long runlegacy. The author responded by reaffirming hiscontention that the S&L insolvencies never had thepotential to cause a downturn like the 2007-200926


crisis. However, he noted that the legacy of S&Linsolvencies is that it is associated with a steepincrease in debt to nominal house values beginningin the 1980s. Kenneth Snowden (North Carolia–Greensboro) wondered if memories of S&Lscontributed to complacency in the run up to the 2007crisis.“Central Bank Credibility and Reputation: AnHistorical Exploration” by Michael D. Bordo(Rutgers) and Pierre Siklos (Wilfrid Laurier) exploreshow central bank credibility and reputation haschanged over time. The analysis uses a theoreticalapproach to examine how well central banks areable to anchor inflationary expectations around animplicit inflation target that can change over time asshocks hitting the economy. Central bank reputationis thought to have a stock-like representation withcredibility being accumulated persistently, whilefinancial crises lower the stock of reputation. Theauthors find that the Great Depression lowered thecredibility and reputation of the Federal Reserve in theUnited States, a shock which persisted until the 1960s.The authors were surprised surprise that the 1990s didnot result in a more credible Federal Reserve.Eugene White (Rutgers) suggested that the numberof times a Federal Reserve Governor appeared beforeCongress might be an interesting variable to add andthat the personalities of the central bankers themselvesshould receive some attention. Nicolas Ziebarth(Iowa) asked whether it is appropriate to apply amodern policy guide such as the Taylor Rule tohistorical data as it is unclear whether central bankersreally had an equivalent rule in mind. The authorscountered that central bankers were interested ineconomic indicators such as industrial production andprice indices and that therefore the consideration of animplicit Taylor Rule in the past is not inappropriate.Les Oxley (Waikato) commented that credibility oftenmeant having to be “hard-nosed” and even meanthaving to do the wrong thing at times to be credible.“Market Exit and Institutional Change: B&L MortgageContracts During the Great Depression” by SebastianFleitas (Arizona), Price Fishback (Arizona), andKenneth Snowden (North Carolina–Greensboro) waspresented by Fleitas. It examines the contemporaryclaim that Share Accumulation Contracts (SAC)contributed to increases in mortgage defaults andincreased the probability that Building & Loan (B&L)institutions would fail during the Great Depression.The construction of SACs meant that as defaultsI had the opportunity to meet Bob Fogel at an economichistory seminar, probably in Spring of 1973.I spoke very briefly with him. About three or fourweeks later I received this big package in the mail—a typescript of Time on the Cross. That was the firsttrue all-nighter that I ever pulled in my life. I got soengrossed reading Time on the Cross that I stayedup all night. It changed my career choices.---Jeremy Atackmounted, borrowers discovered that their effectiveloan balances increased and their repayment periodlengthened. Using data covering over 1,500 B&Ls inNew Jersey between 1934 and 1938, the authors findthat market participants were less likely to borrowfrom B&Ls that were holding a larger share of SACloans. However larger shares of SAC loans are foundto have had no influence on the probability of failure,and might even have been associated with lowerfailure rates.Peter Sims (LSE) wondered whether differentpeople were being offered different types ofmortgages depending on their characteristics, withthe authors acknowledging this particular sourceof potential endogeneity. Eric Hilt (Wellesley)questioned the validity of the instrument used in theanalysis, a concern shared by the authors. RobertMargo (Boston) wished to know if it was possibleto document the diffusion of SAC mortgagesgeographically. Following this, Florian Ploeckl(Oxford) asked for clarification of the counter-intuitiveresult that more cash on hand was associated with ahigher probability of failure. It was explained that, inthis case, more cash on hand was a sign that a B&Lwas not generating loans. Of course, any discussionof B&Ls in the 1930s would have to include areference to “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Price Fishback’simpersonation of Jimmy Stewart was convincing!Paul Sharp (Southern Denmark) presented “Northand South: Social Mobility and Welfare Spending inPreindustrial England.” The paper, co-authored withNina Boberg-Fazlic (Copenhagen), in motivatedby the work of Picketty (1995) and Ferri and Long(2012), who hypothesize that historically high levelsof social mobility can lead to the development of aculture in which welfare provision is less accepted.The current paper contributes by showing that theexpected relation between social mobility and welfarespending holds within England between the North27


Price Fishback chairs the presentation by Tuan-Hwee Sng and Chiaki Moriguchi.and the South. England, were ‘poor law’ relief wasdetermined locally, and where abundant micro-levelfamily data exists pre-1650, is particularly suitedfor such a study, and does not suffer from the usualproblems of cross-country comparison. Resultssuggest that Northern England both spent less moneyon poor relief and had systematically higher rates ofsocial mobility.One part of the discussion was about structuraldifferences between North and South England thatmay explain both occupational mobility and poorlaw relief. Jessica Bean (Denison) highlightedcultural differences, Beverly Lemire (Alberta) noteddifferences in the agricultural systems and in theextent to which the Industrial Revolution affected theregions. John Wallis (Maryland) and Mark Koyama(George Mason) stressed that local landowners,who dominated poor relief provision, might haveacted differently in the North than in the South. Theother major points in the discussion were technical.Marianne Wanamaker (Tennessee) and StevenNafzinger (Williams) argued that the Altham statisticwas not suited for the purposes of the paper. PriceFishback (Arizona and NBER) thought the “farmer”category was ambiguous, and illustrated the pointgraciously by asking whether Mr. Darcy would befound in this category. Finally, Jessica Bean made anintriguing point: If social and geographical mobilityare correlated, then in the North more people wouldbe excluded from the sample because of not remainingtheir whole life in the same parish.Gabriele Cappeli (European Institute) presented“Escaping from a Human Capital Trap? Italy’sRegions and the Move to Centralized PrimarySchooling, 1861-1936.” The paper investigateswhether decentralized primary schooling inhibited28regional convergence in schooling in Italy. The resultsconfirm that decentralized primary education lockedItaly’s regions and municipalities in a human capitaltrap between 1861 and 1936, but the Daneo-Credaroreform of 1911 caused convergence and fostered thesupply of schooling after WWI.The first part of discussion focus on how to detanglethe effect of decentralization and other possiblefactors which may impact on schooling. Pei Gao(LSE), among others, pointed out that without addingcontrols for economic development level, the regionalpattern of schooling could be a result of incomedistribution but not decentralization. Leonard Dudley(Montreal) also provided an alternative explanation:the persistence of the regional distribution of humancapital in Italy was caused by persistence of culture.The discussion then moved to the source of incomefor municipality governments. Alexandru Minea(CERDI), Theresa Gutberlet (Arizona), and othersnoted that if a big proportion the revenue came fromdonations and private loans, then schooling was notreally a public good and cannot represent governmentfiscal ability.Pei Gao (LSE) presented “The Uneven Rise ofModern Education in the 20 th century China.” Thepaper reviews the quantitative dimension of the riseof modern primary schooling in China after modernschooling was first introduced. It also explains whatfactors shaped its regional pattern and inhibitedthe expansion of primary schooling at its earlydevelopment. The paper argues that regional politicalstability, local elite-biased governance, and historicallegacy in education account the most for the variationin modern schooling outcomes.Given the preliminary nature of the research, mostof the discussion focused on the paper’s analyticalframework and methodology. Price Fishback(Arizona), among others, pointed out that instead ofemphasizing China’s special institutional setup andproviding a separate framework, this paper shouldcompare China to other locations and then explainhow China’s results enrich the existing literature. SeYan (Peking) suggested that this paper should onlyfocus on single main factor instead of three, and tovigorously test the mechanism between this mainexplainer and educational outcome. Steve Nafziger(Williams) and Bishnupriya Gupta (Warwick) wereconcerned about the the quality of the indicator forlocal elite-biased governance and suggested thatadding case studies of one county through time or


several counties across regions would be helpful.Qian Lu (Maryland) wondered whether the traditionaleducational institutions persisted after the modernschooling system was introduced.Andrei Markevich and Paul Castaneda Dower (bothNew Economic School) teamed up to present “LaborSurplus, Mass Mobilization and Peasant Welfare:Russian Agriculture during the Great War.” They takeadvantage of the mobilization of Russian men duringWorld War I to determine whether there was indeeda labor surplus in Russian agriculture. Using changesin gender ratios as a proxy for mobilization, they findevidence that the departure of men from agriculturalwork led to a decrease in production on farms. Inaddition, they find differences in the size of the effectbetween private and commune land.Question time with a hot debate which persistedthroughout: How should the authors should positiontheir paper? Yannay Spitzer (Northwestern) andChiaki Moriguchi (Hitotsubashi) approved of the“surplus” angle, though Spitzer wanted a model toensure “labor surplus” was well defined. On the otherhand, Giovanni Federico (European Institute), PriceFishback (Arizona), and Tim Hatton (ANU) wanteda story about the impact of war. Bishnupriya Gupta(Warwick) and Jessica Bean (Denison) wanted to hearmore about the women and specialization in labor.At the Plenary Sessioncapping Thursday’spresentations RobertMargo (Boston) presented“Technical Change and theRelative Demand for SkilledLabor: The United Statesin Historical Perspective,”which is co-authored withLawrence F. Katz (Harvard).The paper re-assesses thecomplementarities betweentechnological change andthe demand for skilled labor.The conventional wisdomsuggests that this relationshipwas characterized by adiscontinuity betweenthe 19 th and the 20 thcentury: while during the former period de-skillingaccompanied capital deepening, after the turn of thecentury the adoption of new technologies was coupledby a growing demand for skilled labor. Margo andKatz identify a different pattern: although de-skillingin the conventional sense did occur in 19 th centurymanufacturing, occupation actually “hollowed out;”that is, the share of middle-skill jobs declined whilethose of high-skill and low-skill workers increased.Additionally, when the aggregate economy isconsidered, a pattern of monotonic skill upgrading canbe observed since about 1850.Price Fishback (Arizona) noted that technical changemight not be the only factor driving people out ofunskilled jobs. For example, artisans’ skill maysurvive but if no training is promoted, the occupationseventually disappear. But Peter Sims (LSE) notedthat, even in periods when mass-production isaccompanied by de-skilling, high-skilled labor mightremain in small firms operating in small niches. JohnWallis (Maryland) stressed that capital deepening canbe naturally connected to increased demand for skilledlabor because of conceptual work – as opposed toroutinized labor. He suggests that more case studiesshould be conducted in order to shed light on thismechanism. Evan Roberts (Minnesota PopulationCenter) suggested that skills might be interpreted as asocial construct because they can be measured througha comparison with peers. Hesuggested that qualitativeinformation might measureskills more accurately.Yukiko Abe (Hokkaido)asked whether the adoptionof new technology had anyimpact on the geographical(re)location of labor.Brooks Kaiser (SouthernDenmark) underlined theimportance of agriculture inthe framework traced by thepaper–technological changein the sector did not displaceskilled labor. Zachary Ward(Colorado) wondered if theremight have been any impactof import competition on thewage structure.Ann Carlos helps at the picnic.29


Friday, June 21Helen He Yang (George Mason) presented “DualLandownership as Tax Shelter.” Chinese propertynorms differed substantially from Anglo-Americanprivate property system: In China, the subsoil and thetopsoil had different owners. Some scholars arguedthat this rights system didn’t incentivize investmentmay explain why the Yangzi delta fell behindEngland in the early-modern period. This paperargues that dual landownership allocated propertyrights efficiently: the gentry (owners of the subsoil)paid land taxes while farmers (owners of the topsoil)managed farms with full freedom. Each was thereforein charge of the task in which they had comparativeadvantage. Yang develops a theoretical model tosupport this hypothesis and tests it using a plotleveldataset. Double ownership was more likely ondouble-cropped plots and when tax rates were higher.The practice was “abandoned” when a tax reformreduced the tax rate differential between gentry andcommoners.The main concern of the audience was about thepersistence of the system over time if a ruler whois willing to maximize tax revenue. John Wallis(Maryland) was the first to point this out. ChiakiMoriguchi (Hitotsubashi) urged the author toinclude the figure of a ruler in the theoretical model,and Tuan-Hwee Sng (Singapore) cited MelissaMacauley’s work showing that the central statefought the dual landownership system. On a relatedpoint, Price Fishback (Arizona) asked why duallandownership was not universally implementedin China. In terms of suggestions, Mark Koyama(George Mason) pointed out that the paper wouldbenefit from looking at the long run consequencesof dual landownership on economic growth, whileMeng Xue (George Mason) proposed incorporatingdemographic data from genealogical studies. Thiswould allow the paper to answer interesting questionssuch as the one raised by Paul Castañeda Dower(New Economic School): were married couples morelikely to be awarded topsoil ownership than unmarriedindividuals?Evan Roberts (Minnesota) presented “Height, Weightand Mortality in the Past: New Evidence from a Late19 th Century New Zealand Cohort.” The paper, coauthoredwith Kris Inwood (Guelph) and Les Oxley(Waikato), examines how body mass index (BMI)affects mortality. The authors are the first to examinedata from this time period for New Zealand. Usingdata on New Zealand’s WWI veterans linked withofficial death records, the authors find that a high BMIincreases risk of mortality, but, contrary to previousliterature, they find no evidence to suggest that alower-than-normal BMI is associated with an increasein risk of mortality.Much of the discussion focused on sample selectionbias. Because the sample comes from WWI veteransBob Fogel was my mentor, co-author, and ongoingresearch partner. Among the many things thatmade him so exceptional was his ability to makeeveryone around him think big. Bob really didthink big: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth spending10 years to get it right.” And spending more than 10years on a project is what he did. He did this whenhe researched slavery and he did this with his mostrecent and on-going project on the aging of UnionArmy veterans. When I started working with him inabout 1989, as a graduate student, he had been workingsince 1986 on the project to collect the life historiesof Union Army veterans. No one other thanBob would have stuck with this research project inthe face of initial rejections from federal fundingagencies—review committees simply did not believethat it could be done—and once it was clear justhow long it would take to even get off the ground.The project (Early Indicators of Later Work Levels,Disease, and Death) is still on-going and funded byNIH.One of the characteristics of Bob’s work has beenthe emphasis on big data. This is, perhaps, becausein his youth he was in thrall to a theory, having beena member of the communist party. Later he saidthat he did not understand communist theory andjust assumed he wasn’t smart enough. Fortunately,he decided to understand the world by studying economics.He once said that if you have a theory you had betterhope it is tested after you are dead because youwill probably be wrong. And Bob tested his theoriesnot just once, not just twice, but at least threetimes using different methods and different datasources. This was one of the lessons he imparted toall of his graduate students -- he would force us tobeat the data until we were certain we had gotten itright.---Dora Costa30


there is the possibility that BMI is also associatedwith death in the war. Also the sample suggestsBMI differences based on race, and because Maorisoldiers tended to be assigned to support units, theymay have been more likely to return home. JessicaBean (Denison) wondered if the Spanish flu couldhave influenced the sample. Another portion ofthe conversation focused on the use of BMI. AlexHollingsworth (Arizona) suggested that race shouldbe considered important in BMI calculations. RickSteckel (Ohio State) suggested running a separateregression for the Maori group.Kris Mitchener (Warwick) presented “CapitalControls and Recovery from the Financial Crisisof the 1930s,” which is co-authored with KirstenWandschneider (Occidental). The paper exploresthe effects of capital controls imposed during theeconomic crisis of the 1930s. Two questions are asked:(1) Did capital controls succeed in halting capitalflight? (2) Did the imposition of capital controlsinfluence economic recovery? Using monthly datafrom a number of different countries, the authors findthat capital controls did succeed in slowing downcapital flight. Results from time-shifted differencein-differencesregressions suggest that countries thatimposed capital controls fared worse in terms ofeconomic performance than those that allowed theircurrencies to float and did no better than those thatremained steadfastly committed to gold.Farley Grubb (Delaware) began the discussion; heasked about the part played by politics in the decisionto impose capital controls. Alan Dye (Barnard)wondered whether there might be differences betweencountries in how capital controls were enforced.Matthew Jaremski (Colgate) and Alan de Bromhead(Oxford) wanted to know more about why somecountries imposed capital controls in the first place.Finally, Eugene White (Rutgers) suggested that theauthors consider that capital controls can also beaffected through controls on the stock market.“Delivering the Vote: The Political Effect of FreeMail Delivery in Early Twentieth Century America”I think Bob Fogel gave the longest presidentialaddress in the history of the Economic History Association,in Toronto in 1978. He read the entire paperon social saving. It was great, you know, but I’mnot sure people were expecting that.--- Michael HainesEugene White is ready to work.by Elisabeth Perlman and Steven Sprick Schuster(both Boston) examines how the introduction of RuralFree Delivery (RFD) of mail in the United Statesinfluenced voter behavior. Using county-level datafrom 1892-1916, the authors find that countries thatreceived more postal routes experienced a decrease invoter turnout in both Congressional and Presidentialelections. They also find that voters in countiesreceiving more routes are more likely to vote forcandidates of small parties. Furthermore, they findthat districts with more RFD routes elected officialsthat had greater attendance records in the House ofRepresentatives. The precise mechanism that linksRFD to these changes is not yet clear, but it is hoped itcan be untangled with further research.Florian Ploeckl (Oxford) began by discussing theproblem of endogeneity, in the sense that gettinga RFD route may have been politically motivated.Pamela Nickless (North Carolina – Asheville)suggested that primary elections may be worthexamining more closely. Alan de Bromhead (Oxford)wondered whether conflicting information nowarriving by mail may have led to some confusion orvoter apathy. Ann Carlos (Colorado) asked what kindof voters would even be susceptible to propagandareceived through the mail, given that in many familiesvoting preferences are entrenched. Finally, JohnWallis (Maryland) wondered whether the presenceof other items in the mail may have influenced voterturnout.“Exogenous or Endogenous Colonial Institutions?Lessons from a Comparison of Tax Systems in British31


“Public Debt and Economic Growth Through History:New Evidence from a Macroeconomic RetrospectiveAnalysis” by Alexandru Minea (Auvergne) andAntoine Parent (Science-Po, Lyon) is a critical reassessmentof Reinhart and Rogoff now-notoriouswork. R&R claims that countries with a debt to GDPratio of more than 90% are less likely to experienceeconomic growth. The authors stretch the dataset usedby Reinhart and Rogoff back in time to 1880–2009and use use new econometric techniques. They findnonlinearities in the effect of public debt on growth:high growth and high public debt were associatedduring some historical episodes of growth anddevelopment.Young cliometricians hard at work.and French Africa, 1880-1940” by Marlous vanWaijenburg (Northwestern) and Ewout Frankema(Utrecht) tries to disentangle the relative effects ofthe local geographic conditions which the colonistsencountered and the institutional framework ofthe home country. They analyze the ability of eachcolonial administration to raise revenues throughtaxation, a crucial performance measure for theEuropean colonists. They find that controlling for localgeography, the nationality of the colonists makes verylittle difference. The greatest influence was whetherthe colony had a coastline or not. The authors arguethat this reflects the ease of taxing international trade.Much of the discussion focused on the role ofparticular historical episodes, especially wars, indetermining the amount and growth of public debt.Christina Mumme (Tubingen) asked whether theauthors could leave aside the post-WWII period.Eugene White (Rutgers) stressed the role ofcredibility in issuing debt. Peter Sims (LSE) followedup: How concerned should we be by a negativecorrelation between debt and growth, given that mostof the poor countries would not be able to reachhigh levels of debt in any case because of limitedcredibility? John Wallis (Maryland) stressed theneed to differentiate across different types of debtand their effect on growth. Claude Diebolt (BETAand CNRS) and Larry Neal (Illinois) argued that theauthors should explain more detail why the particulartechnique they used is the most suitable.Jules Hugot (Science Po) was amazed that for onceFrench institutions were not being singled out as theroot of all evil in Africa. Mark Koyama (GeorgeMason) asked whether the tax systems of coloniesshould be ranked not only based on their ability toraise revenue, but also for their tendency to distortincentives. Larry Neal (Illinois) pointed out that thelandlocked regions tended to be inhabited by nomadicgroups, which are notoriously difficult to tax. MarcGoni (Pompeu Fabra) suggested that the analysisshould be repeated with an interaction effect of localgeographic conditions and colonist’s institutions:perhaps it was only when local conditions werepoor that the institutions of the home country wereforcibly imported. Steven Nafziger (Williams) notedthat coastal areas could be colonized irrespective oftheir direct economic potential because they could bestepping stones for naval powers interested in richesfurther afield.32Brendan Livingston (Rowan) presented “Murder andthe Black Market: Alcohol Prohibition’s Impact onHomicide Rates in American Cities.” He used data onintoxication arrests and homicides for 64 Americancities to determine whether prohibition increased ordecreased the murder rate. Because only two of the 64cities voted for prohibition, the timing of prohibitionin each city can be considered exogenous to conditionsin the city. He finds that Prohibition increased themurder rate when holding the number of intoxicationarrests constant. Intoxication arrests would have had todecrease by 33% in order to prevent an increase in themurder rate.Carolyn Moehling (Rutgers) argued that homicidesand other violent crimes are infrequent and may notbe the best measure of the social cost of Prohibition.Mark Koyama (George Mason) noted that in a studyof the Mexican drug war, Melissa Dell had founddifferences in crime rates between places where onecartel had taken over the market and where turf warswere being fought. He suggested that this might havebeen an important difference between murder rates indifferent cities. Carl Kitchens (Mississippi) wondered


whether the distance to a wet state influenced thedevelopment of the black market in dry cities beforeProhibition. Evan Roberts (Minnesota) wanted acomparison of US and Canadian cities directly acrossthe border from one another.Anthony Wray (Northwestern) emphasized in hisintroduction that “Childhood Illness and OccupationalChoice in London, 1870-1911” tries to get at long runconsequences of childhood illness, both demographicand economic, using sibling controls to addressendogeneity concerns. Eric Schneider (Oxford)started the discussion by saying that ignoring womenwas a big problem in his opinion since it only givesus half the picture of disease and possibly a biasedone. Yannay Spitzer (Northwestern) pointed out thatthe sue of siblings as a control group should bias theresults towards zero since hospitalization should havenegative effects on siblings. Marianne Wannamaker(Tennessee) suggested that Wray look at the literatureon resiliency that argues that early life illness ortrauma have little impact on later life. Melinda Miller(Yale) suggested looking at localized epidemicsto differentiate between the impact of illness andhospitalization.In the last session of the conference, Eric Golson(LSE) presented “German and British Balanceof Payments with the European Neutrals in theSecond World War.” This paper required meticulousdata collection tracking the inflows and outflowsof payments for Spain, Portugal, Sweden, andSwitzerland with Britain and Germany. Golsonfinds that many neutrals benefited from tradingwith belligerent countries. He explores differencesbetween two different types of clearing relationships,compensation clearing and monetary clearing.Eugene White (Rutgers) asked about the detailsof the balance of payments. He wanted to knowwhether the countries supported whatever countrywas currently winning the war and asked if gametheory could be used to strategically model flows.Kris Mitchener (Warwick) wondered if the problemcould be expressed in terms of Fogel’s “Axiom ofIndispensability”: What was the overall importanceof balance of payments during the war. Larry Neal(Illinois) suggested that studying balance of paymentsafter the War was also important.Rare, indeed, is a lecture that transforms one’s life:path-dependence lived in real time. I had the privilege—thegood fortune—to hear such a lecture onNovember 22, 1982. I know the date because I stillhave my notes. Bob Fogel argued with his usualenthusiasm that the height of a population was a robustproxy of its nutritional status. In his usual style,he presented an overwhelming amount of data stratifiedone way then another. By the end of the lectureI found my true calling.The field flourished around the globe. Publicationsin major journals, books, and conferences cascadedas the methodology became more widely recognized.Ten years ago I came to the realization thatwe were studying more than the secular changes innutritional status. There was actually a larger perspectivewaiting to be studied: in some sense wewere exploring how economic processes affect thehuman organism’s biological development. So thejournal Economics and Human Biology was borndedicated to the exploration of the ways in whicheconomic processes effect and are affected by biologicalprocesses. The field integrates economicswith biology, thereby creating a new sub disciplinewithin economics of which Bob is the grandfather.Although I was not his favorite student, I was theonly one at his Nobel Prize ceremony. I went in orderto honor his contribution to my intellectual andscholarly development. It was an uplifting ceremonycelebrating the best humanity has to offer. I’m nowglad more than ever that I decided to go: I was ableto give back a tiny bit of what he gave to me.---John Komlos33


The 2012 Class of FellowsBy Mike HaupertTraditionally, Cliometricians have recognized oneanother with the annual achievement award knownas the “Can.” Despite its pedestrian name, theaward is a serious and sincere honor, bestowed uponan individual for significant contributions to theCliometric Society. It was originally intended torecognize contributions over the prior year, but hassince evolved into an award recognizing lifetimeservice to the Cliometric Society, where serviceis broadly interpreted to include scholarship andmentorship as well as service in the traditionalsense. The honor was created in 1985 and is awardedannually at the Cliometric Society conference.In 2009 the Cliometric Society Board of Trusteesestablished a formal process for recognizing theoutstanding scholars in its midst with the creation ofa Society of Fellows. The Society of Fellows is notmeant to replace the annual awarding of the “Can”but to augment it. While the “Can” is awarded forcontributions to the Cliometric Society, the exactinterpretation of those contributions is determinedeach year by the previous recipient. The Societyof Fellows focuses specifically on lifetime researchcontributions. The Cliometric Society wishes tohonor outstanding scholarship in the field of economichistory through its election of Fellows of the Society.Fellows must have published contributions toeconomic history that are markedly original and havesignificantly advanced the frontiers of knowledge.To be eligible, a Fellow must be, or upon electionbecome, a member of the Cliometric Society.The first class of Fellows was elected in 2010 andformally inducted at the annual meeting in thespring of 2011. The second class was inducted lastspring. This year our class of 2012 was inductedat the World Congress of Cliometrics in Honolulu.The Fellows inducted this year have a long andmeritorious association with the Cliometric Society,and their academic and professional honors, awards,and accomplishments are numerous and impressive.They join an equally impressive group of previousinductees, bringing the total number of Fellows to dateto 19.Not surprisingly, each of this year’s Fellows haspreviously been a recipient of the “Can.” DeirdreMcCloskey was the original recipient of the awardin 1985, and 17 years later it was presented to PriceFishback. The other three of this year’s Fellows werehonored with the “Can” in successive years: JeremyAtack in 2005, Robert Margo in 2006, and RickSteckel in 2007.Jeremy AtackJeremy Atack is Professorof Economics at VanderbiltUniversity, and ResearchAssociate at the NationalBureau of Economic Research.He completed his Ph.D.in Economics at IndianaUniversity in 1976. His firstfull time position was at the University of Illinois in1976, where he remained until moving to Vanderbilt in1993. In 2000 he was also named Professor of Historyat Vanderbilt.Atack is one of the leading scholars in Americanagricultural and manufacturing history. He is theauthor of more than 60 refereed articles and bookchapters, as well as three books. He has also editedtwo volumes. He was the winner of the 1987Theodore Saloutos prize awarded for the outstandingbook published on agricultural history for To TheirOwn Soil: American Agriculture in the AntebellumNorth, coauthored with Fred Bateman. The volumewas also selected by Choice as one of the outstandingacademic books of 1987. His work on steam powerearned him an honorary life membership in theNewcomen Society. The Cliometric Society honoredhim with the “Can” in 2005.Atack has been elected President of three professionalacademic societies, reflecting the esteem in which heis held by his peers. He served as President of theBusiness History Conference in 1999, the AgriculturalHistory Society in 2003-04, and the Economic HistoryAssociation in 2011-12.He served as co-editor of the Journal of EconomicHistory (2004-08), Explorations in Economic Historyin 1982 and Business and Economic History (1981-87), as well as serving as a special guest editor forthe Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.He has been an elected trustee of the CliometricSociety, the Economic History Association, and theAgricultural History Society.34


Bob Fogel once said to me: “The measureof success in our profession is influencing theway other people think.” It’s taken me 30 yearsto appreciate all the implications of that. Ourprofession is filled with people who want to learn,but who don’t want to be taught. Bob understoodthat in a very intuitive way. He was very warm andgenerous personally, but he was also very tenacious.He understood that academic conversations wouldalways be debates. You have to convince people.Bob’s willingness to listen to what people weresaying was an important part of convincing them,if they think you aren’t listening to them, then theyaren’t listening to you.---John WallisHis research has been funded by the NewcomenSociety and the National Science Foundation. Alongwith Fred Bateman, he constructed a sample ofU.S. Manufacturing and a matched sample of ruralhouseholds in 1880. He also worked with Batemanto extend the Bateman-Foust Agricultural andDemographic Sample, which includes data on over21,000 rural households from 1860 to 1880. Theseoriginal databases have been used by numerousscholars to further our understanding of 19 th centuryagriculture.Price FishbackPrice Fishback is Thomas R.Brown Professor of Economicsat the University of Arizonaand Research Associate at theNational Bureau of EconomicResearch. He is also a Fellowof the TIAA-CREFF Instituteand a Research Affiliate at theCentre for Economic History at Australian NationalUniversity. Fishback earned his Ph.D. from theUniversity of Washington. He joined the faculty atthe University of Georgia in 1982, where he remaineduntil moving to Arizona in 1993.He has won numerous awards, including theCliometric Society “Can” in 2002 and the PaulSamuelson Award for outstanding scholarly writingon lifelong financial security in 2000 for his book, APrelude to the Welfare State, coauthored with ShawnKantor. The book also received the Richard A. LesterPrize for the outstanding book in labor economics andindustrial relations in 2000. He has also won awardsfor articles co-authored with Shawn Kantor in 1997and Kantor and Leah Platt Boustan in 2010.He has also been recognized by the University ofArizona as an outstanding teacher, winning awardsfor his classroom work in the MBA Program in 1999,2000, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He won aSwift Teaching Award at the University of Georgiain 1984, and received the university’s Honors DayRecognition for Outstanding Teaching in 1983,1984, and 1986. His service was recognized bythe University of Arizona in 2007 with an EllerLeadership Award.Fishback served as co-editor of the Journal ofEconomic History from 2008-12. He has served onnumerous editorial boards, including Cliometrica,Explorations in Economic History, and LaborHistory. He has served as a trustee for the CliometricSociety and the Economic History Association, andserved on the NSF Review Panel for Economics.He is a member of the executive committee of theInternational Economic History Association. He is theeditor of the Markets and Governments in AmericanHistory book series published by the University ofChicago Press, and was a principal investigator for theNSF Grant for the annual Clio conference from 1999-2008. He was on the conference organizing committeefor the annual Clio conferences from 1996-2008.Fishback has authored two books and edited twoothers and published 44 journal articles and 18 bookchapters. He currently has two books in progress.Robert MargoRobert Margo earned his Ph.D.from Harvard University in 1982,where he served as a TeachingFellow before accepting a positionat the University of Pennsylvania.In 1989 he moved to VanderbiltUniversity, where he wouldultimately hold positions in boththe Economics and History departments. In 2005 hemoved to Boston University, where he holds positionsin economics and African-American studies. Hehas also held visiting positions at the Russell SageFoundation, Harvard, Bard College, and ColgateUniversity.In addition to his academic positions, Margo is aFellow at the Center for the Study of Poverty and35


Inequality at Stanford University, a member of theConference on Research on Income and Wealth, and aresearch associate with the NBER. He has consultedfor the World Bank and the Rand Corporation, amongothers.He is an associate editor for the American EconomicJournal: Applied Economics and the QuarterlyJournal of Economics, and has previously served aseditor of Explorations in Economic History and coeditorof the Southern Economic Journal. He hasserved on the editorial boards of half a dozen otherjournals as well as on the national advisory boardsof the Center for Poverty Research at the Universityof Kentucky and Stanford University’s Center forthe Study of Poverty and Inequality. He previouslyserved on review panels for the NSF and the SpencerFoundation.He received the Excellence in Refereeing award fromthe Quarterly Journal of Economics in 2012 and wasrecognized by the Cliometric Society with the “Can”in 2006. He has been awarded grants for his researchby the US Department of Education, the Wharton RealEstate Center, the National Science Foundation, andthe Spencer Foundation, among others.Margo has authored four books and nearly 90 articlesand book chapters, as well as 45 NBER workingpapers. His book, Race and Schooling in the South,was a Princeton University noteworthy book inindustrial relations and labor economics in 1990 andnamed an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice in1992. The Economic History Association awardedhim the Cole prize for the best article published in theJournal of Economic History in 1987 for “The Growthof Wages in Antebellum America: New Evidence,”coauthored with Georgia Villaflor.Deirdre McCloskeyDeirdre McCloskey isDistinguished Professor ofEconomics and History, Professorof English, and Professor ofCommunication at the Universityof Illinois at Chicago. She movedto Chicago after serving as the JohnF. Murray Professor of Economicsand Professor of History atthe University of Iowa. She earned her Ph.D. ineconomics from Harvard. Her first position was asProfessor of Economics at the University of Chicago,The lesson that I took away from my experiencewith Bob Fogel is to always be more interestedin what other people are doing than in telling themwhat you are doing. In my experiences at the Universityof Chicago, of having plenty of non-classroomtime with Nobel Prize winners, there was nevera one—apart from Bob—who was ever as interestedin engaging people at their own level, on their ownterms, and talking about what they were interestedin rather than telling them what they should be interestedin based upon what they themselves weredoing.---Joe Ferriewhere she began her academic career in 1968. In1979 she added the title of Professor of History atthe University of Chicago, before leaving for Iowa in1980.In conjunction with her current appointment atUIC, McCloskey is also Profesora Honoraria at LaUniversidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatamela),Extraordinary Professor, University of the Free State(Bloemfontein, South Africa), Visiting ProfessorEconomic History at the University of Gothenburg(Sweden), and adjunct faculty member in Philosophyand in Classics at UIC, and a regular member of thefaculty of the Summer School of the EDAMBA insouthern France.McCloskey has served as president of the SocialScience History Association (1988-89), the MidwestEconomics Association (1989-90), the EconomicHistory Association (1996-97), and the EasternEconomics Association (2003-04). She served as coeditorof the Journal of Economic History from 1983-86, and was the first American named to the Councilof the Economic History Association in 1987. Shealso served as a member of the Executive Committeeof the American Economic Association from 1994-97.McCloskey is one of the most prolific authors inthe discipline of economics. She has authored andedited two dozen books, with numerous others invarious stages of preparation. In addition, she haswritten more than 350 academic articles, replies, andreviews ranging from the history of internationalfinance to open fields and enclosure in England to theindustrial revolution, economic pedagogy, rhetoric,academic policy, feminist economics, gender crossing,ethics, religious economics, political philosophy, andlanguage. She has published more articles on theeconomics of the English enclosure system (14) than36


most economists have published articles.McCloskey, along with Samuel Williamson, was thefounder of the Cliometric Society. In 1985 the societyhonored her as the first recipient of its annual “Can”award for outstanding service.Richard SteckelSteckel has authored or coauthored five books. Hehas also written more than 112 articles and bookchapters. He is the recipient of numerous grantsfrom the NICHD, NSF, Bank of Sweden TercntenaryFoundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundationto name a few.Richard Steckel isDistinguished UniversityProfessor of Economicsat Ohio State Universityand Research Associateat the National Bureauof Economic. Research.Steckel earned his Ph.D.in economics from the University of Chicago in 1977.Steckel has served his entire career at Ohio State,where he joined theEconomics Departmentas an instructor in1974. He now holdsProfessorships inthe departmentsof Economics,Anthropology, andHistory. He has heldvisiting positions atHarvard, where he wasthe Charles WarrenFellow in 1993-94,a Visiting ResearchFellow at FlindersUniversity of SouthAustralia, a VisitingResearch Fellow in theCenter for EconomicStudies at the Universityof Munich, the LondonSchool of Economics,and a Visiting Fellow atOxford University, andNorthwestern University.Fellows of the Cliometric SocietyJeremy Atack*Fred BatemanLance E. DavisStanley L. EngermanPrice Fishback*Robert W. FogelClaudia GoldinRobert Margo*Deirdre McCloskey*Joel MokyrLarry D. NealDouglass C. NorthAlan L. OlmsteadHugh RockoffRichard Steckel*Peter TeminThomas WeissJeffrey G. WilliamsonGavin WrightHe has served on numerous editorial boards, includingthe Journal of Economic History, Historical Methods,Explorations in Economic History, Economics andHuman Biology, and Cliometrica, and served as theeditor of Explorations in Economic History from2008-12. He served on the review panel for NIH andthe Board of Trustees of the Cliometric Society. Heserved as President of the Social Science HistoryAssociation (2004-05), and the Economic HistoryAssociation (2008-09).*Inducted in 2013He is a Fellow of theAmerican Associationfor the Advancement ofScience. He was awardedthe “Can” in 2007. He wasnamed the Joan N. HuberFaculty Fellow at OhioState University for theperiod 1999-2002 and theL. Edwin Smart award forExcellence in EconomicsInstruction in 1995.Steckel is regarded as oneof the leading scholars inthe field of anthropometricresearch. His work hasgarnered numerous grantsand resulted in publicationsin the leading journals. Inaddition, his research onstature was featured in theEuorpean edtion of TimeMagazine on October 14,1996.37


An Interview with John KomlosJohn Komlos is Professor Emeritus of Economics atthe University of Munich, Germany, where he heldthe Chair of the Institute of Economic History from1992 until his retirement in 2010. He is the founding(2003) editor of Economics & Human Biology (EHB),a high-impact factor journal in economics and one ofthe primary resources for cliometricians. ProfessorKomlos has published numerous articles related toeconomic history, historical methods, and healtheconomics; most importantly, he is perhaps bestknown for his research in anthropometric history—adiscipline he spearheaded and a term he coined in the1980s. On account of his many investigations, oftenfeaturing human-height measurements, into the effectsof economic development on human biology, he hasearned the alias of the “Pope” of anthropometrichistory. He is currently Visiting Professor ofEconomics at Duke University.2013; it was finalized in June 2013.I will begin with a question that I have wanted to askyou for some time. Does it bother you to be introducedby the media as the “pope” of height research?LoL! The media love such exaggerations, but theyamuse more than they annoy. I hate to disillusion myfans, but I have serious doubts about my infallibility.I am impressed by your diverse educational andmultidisciplinary background. You graduated fromcollege with a degree in physics and then went onto earn two MAs and two PhDs (in history and ineconomics). To what extent did your multidisciplinaryacademic background contribute to your decisionto plant your flag in the relatively unplowed field ofanthropometric history?This interview was conducted by Daniel Schwekendiek(Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul) via e-mail in May38I believe that I unconsciously strove to be aRenaissance man—not an easy task, given the waythat academia is constituted. I was not focused onhaving some sort of a career. If you single-mindedlypursue the goal of obtaining tenure, scholarship caneasily slip into the back seat, so it is unlikely that youwill immerse yourself in a subject such as the historyof human height. But for me education was not aninstrument to obtain a position; it was an end in itself.I suppose that if I were a Calvinist I would say thatI was predestined to do what I did. Instead, I’ll justsay that for me there is no doubt my socio-culturalheritage shaped me for this somewhat eclectic careerpath. The only objective evidence I can bring to bearon this point is the fact that Hungarian Holocaustsurvivors—such as I and my family—had a highprobability of choosing such paths. We constitutea tiny population—roughly that of a mid-size U.S.city, such as Akron, Ohio—but among us are foundfive Nobel laureates (including John Harsanyi, foreconomics) and numerous other pragmatic, if alsointellectual, innovators: for example, the philosopherof science Imre Lakatos, the economist Janos Kornai,Andrew Grove of Intel, and George Soros, as mucha philosopher as he is a financier. So my guess isthat those who have survived the hell of Darknessat Noon tend to be unfazed when society says, “Butyou’ll never get away with that!” We’ve gotten awaywith it already two or three times, so I think that wetended unconsciously to generalize that experienceand not trust society’s judgment. In short, I’d like toemphasize that my life unfolded not as a consequence


of some conscious rational strategy to be iconoclastic.It just turned out that way as I was chasing someelusive and fascinating ideas.But of course, it is not straightforward to be anonconformist. It is well known that the academicworld is suboptimal for interdisciplinary research witha low probability of payoff. Few academics are willingto take such risks with very limited institutionalsupport—financial or emotional. Note, however,that I was not completely a nonconformist. Rather,I think I conformed to the ideal version of academiainstead to its real, existing counterpart. I dared tosuppose that reality should conform to the ideal. Thatdisposition is, however, often threatening to those whoare more realistic. Imagine when I told my immigrantparents, who themselves didn’t get past elementaryschool, that I intended to devote my life to the studyof anthropometric history—and this at a time when Ihad no prospects beyond a short-term contract, as alecturer, at the University of Vienna. My world viewmade no more sense to them, or to university searchcommittees who surely puzzled no longer than a fewseconds over my curious CV before tossing it in thetrashcan. (For more on the secrets of my life, see theNew Yorker article where my position of “pope” iscited.)Both you and Professor Richard Steckel (OhioState University) were students of Robert Fogel atthe University of Chicago, and both of you becameCliometricians specializing in anthropometrics.However, it seems to me Professor Steckel eventuallyhas focused on the past by exploring premodernanthropometric history, whereas you have pushedforward to investigate postindustrial populations andperiods. What was the nature, if any, of the divisionof labor between you and Professor Steckel? Did youattempt to coordinate your research agendas?Obviously, we were both inspired by Fogel to work onthe history of human height. I still have my notes fromNovember 23, 1982, when I first heard Bob lecture onthe topic, and I said to myself: Wow! This is the mostinteresting idea I’ve heard in years. It’s exactly whatI’ve been waiting for! Here was a new field where onejust might be able to make some beautiful discoveries.What is more, there was quite a lot of peer pressureat the University of Chicago to undertake this sort ofproject—that is, one offering little chance of success.For someone like me—that is, born into a family ofsurvivors, exiles, and immigrants—the risks posed byanthropometric history were child’s play.The fact that while an undergraduate I had done somecomputer programming gave me an edge when it cameto analyzing large datasets. By the next summer I wasalready in Vienna, digging up data. Meanwhile, RickSteckel had done some exciting work on slave heights,and Bob Fogel had a number of other students writingpapers on the topic. And in the same year, 1982,Social Science History devoted a whole volume toheights. For me that was inspirational. Before turningto archeological records, Rick had done substantialwork not only on slave heights but also on Swedishmilitary records and on the Ohio National Guardsmen,among other datasets. So at the start we had a similarstrategy, one advancing the field by analyzing samplesfrom disparate populations, in order to learn aboutliving standards of different socioeconomic groupsin different economic settings. But this was not aconscious strategy; we never attempted to coordinateour research; Bob also did not influence us after theinitial impetus. We just went our own way. There wereplenty of opportunities for research, and it was not atall clear where the next breakthrough would happen.When and where did you first visit a historical archiveto retrieve data? What was the most important lessonyou learned at that time?In 1974 I visited several Viennese archives for thedissertation I was working on at that time, dealingwith economic development in the HabsburgMonarchy. That experience was a great help in 1983,when I returned to Vienna to cull height data from themilitary archives. Other researchers had looked forthem in vain; finding them is more difficult than youmay imagine. This 1983 experience, in turn, helpedme to dig up datasets all over the world, includingthose of the West Point cadets. (By the way, theyare all preserved for posterity at the Inter-universityConsortium for Political and Social Research.)It took a certain perseverance to get along with thearchivists, unaccustomed as they were to dealingwith researchers who required tens of thousands ofobservations for a decent random sample. They wereless than thrilled to have to lug up out of storagedusty, oversize bundles of documents, unopened inthree centuries. I would often wait until the changingof the guard, as it were, in the hope that that thenext archivist on duty would be a little less resistant.Sometimes a gift, of bottle of wine or the like, helpedto break the ice.39


Your second book, Nutrition and EconomicDevelopment in the Eighteenth-Century HabsburgMonarchy: An Anthropometric History, was publishedby Princeton University Press in 1989. What wereyour reasons for choosing this specific period andregion as your focus? Would you say that this workwas your most time-consuming publication? If not,what other scholarly work would you cite as fittingthis description?I had been working on the economic development ofthe Habsburg Monarchy in the nineteenth century.So when I learned about the possibilities of heightresearch it was natural for me to go back a centuryand explore economic development in the eighteenthcentury. It was certainly rewarding, because it enabledme to identify the “early industrial growth puzzle,”that is, the decline in nutritional status, as proxied byphysical stature, simultaneously with the IndustrialRevolution. This enabled me to infer that a Malthusiancrisis was threatening at the time that the IndustrialRevolution (IR) was able to overcome. It also led meto model (with Marc Artzrouni) the IR as an escapeBob Fogel first came into the lives of us economichistorians at one of the early Clio meetings atPurdue. As several of us waited together at ChicagoO’Hare for the plane to West Lafayette, one of us,reading the program for the forthcoming meeting,said “Who is this Robert William Fogel?” Fromthe fringe of the group came the answer: “I amRobert William Fogel.” There he was: a somewhat“rumpled” figure, as described by the New YorkTimes in his obituary. Perhaps in the early years hewas rumpled because he slept very little and workedalmost all the time. His appearance belied hisintelligence, his curiosity, his generosity, and whatcame to be his immense contributions over 50 years.What made Bob Fogel unique was his deliberateattack on traditional explanations. The work ofacademic social scientists generally had consideredstatic, but not dynamic, elements: their roadto success had been to build on existing theoryand modify it incrementally. Bob attacked thewhole framework head-on. In early work heundermined the view that the railroad had been thedominant source of development in 19th centuryAmerica. Next he attacked the view that slaverywas inefficient; and in his most recent years hesuccessfully undermined traditional demographichistory. In each case he suggested a radicallydifferent approach to development.---Douglass Northfrom the Malthusian trap. It was an endogenousgrowth model before such models were popular, andso we had a hard time getting it published.That research enabled me to give a twist to theprevailing paradigm of industrialization, accordingto which the IR was British in origin, with theContinent simply following in its footsteps. Instead,I argued that the timing was more nuanced: the IRwas essentially a pan-European phenomenon, withthe upswing in economic activity on the Continentcoinciding perfectly with that of the British IR even iftechnological change on the Continent took place at itsown, unBritish, rate. It was thanks to anthropometricdata that I was able to offer this interpretation of theContinental version of the IR. Please note that whenit came to the amount of time that I invested in thiseffort, I had a zero discount rate: time did not play arole in my thinking at all.Anthropometric history is a flourishing discipline,a popular topic for conferences such as the WorldEconomic History Congresses, and the meetings ofthe Economic History Association or that of SocialScience History, and a subject increasingly familiarto the readers of economic history’s flagship journals.But of course this has not always been the case. Howwas your early research perceived by other economichistorians? When did anthropometric history begin tomake some headway in the field of economic history?It was slow going at first, although I did have someinitial successes such as the 1985 article in theAmerican Historical Review followed by one in theAnnals of Human Biology in 1986 and then in theJournal of Economic History in 1987. That positivefeedback gave me some reason to hope that this wouldbe a feasible project in the long run. But between1983 and 1993, not even Bob Fogel was able to getan economics journal to publish anything of his onheights, although he did write important workingpapers and book chapters. The first real success inan economics journal was his Nobel Prize lecturein a 1994 issue of the American Economic Review.The next year, the Journal of Economic Literaturepublished an important overview by Richard Steckeland thereafter all limits were off. Editors and refereesbecame more receptive to the idea.In order to emphasize how much adversity one facedat the beginnings Rick Steckel tells the story thathis department was going to deny him tenure and itwas only the dean’s intervention that overruled that40


decision. By the time I came along, a little later inthe 1980s, the baby-boom expansion was over, andthere were no more deans on my side. I had a numberof strikes against me: my field of expertise; CentralEurope, passed under the radar of most departmentsin any field. Besides, no department was interested inthe history of human height; I didn’t stand much of achance. So I ended up moving back to Europe.In short, it was not until Bob Fogel received theNobel Prize, in 1993, that anthropometrics began towin some overdue respect; however, by then I hadan endowed chair and full professorship in Munich.What saved me in the meanwhile was the same sortof principled flexibility that had enabled my father tomake it through some far, far tougher times. So I wasa postdoctoral fellow in demography at the CarolinaPopulation Center for two years, followed by stintsas a historian and subsequently as an economist—butnever neglecting my research agenda on the historyof human height. That was the constant in my life,because I realized that this constituted, in effect, myvocation: that without it my life would be nothing buta hollow shell. So I clung to it the same way that myfather clung to his individuality and stayed far awayfrom the Communist Party, even when that wouldhave been the “reasonable” thing for him to do. So Ihad my father as a role model for how to be a survivorand even outsmart your adversaries at times: not that Icould have explained all this at the time; this is how Isee it now. In any case, it took me only six years to gofrom being a postdoctoral scholar to a full professor.So I guess you could say that my zero discount ratedid pay off, after all.Professor Barry Popkin and some other economistshave recalibrated their research in order to take intoconsideration not only undernutrition in historicsocieties but also overnutrition in modern affluentsocieties. Many of your frequently cited works dealwith America’s emergence as a nation of obesity. Whendid anthropometric historians begin to shift theirfocus from stunted growth to body-mass indexes andoverweight measurements?My first article on BMI came out in 2004 that wassoon after the obesity literature took off in economics.At first, I had a mental block about doing work oncontemporary populations. I considered myself tobe an economic historian; why should I deal withpresent-day data? But eventually, after several yearsof procrastination, I said to myself, Well, let’s havea look—and discovered, to my amazement, that theI first met Bob Fogel in September 1965 whenI entered the graduate program at the Universityof Chicago. I had a hard time with the cut-throatcompetitive nature of Chicago. Into this atmospherestepped Bob Fogel. In addition to his course beingsuch a treat, Bob Fogel was the only professor atthe University of Chicago who was accessible. Iused to just drop by and schmooze, and talk aboutmy doubts about my future at Chicago, and abouteconomic history. Bob really inspired me, both tostick it out at Chicago and to become an economichistorian. His warmth, generosity, and enthusiasmfor his work and for economic history is what I willalways remember.---Michael BordoU.S. no longer boasts the tallest population in theworld but rather (but for a few tiny outliers, such asthe Cook Islands) the heaviest. So all of a suddenanthropometrics became the talk of the town, fromNPR and The Daily Show to The Today Show by wayof The New Yorker and Paul Krugman in the The NewYork Times, and (after twenty years’ of, shall we say,toiling in the field) I got my fifteen minutes of fame.While you focused mainly on the anthropometrichistory of Europe and North America, scholarscollaborating with Professor Joerg Baten at theUniversity of Tuebingen began to expand theirstudies to remote regions, such as sub-SaharanAfrica, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Otherscholars even studied the anthropometric history ofNorth Korea, which is arguably the most secludedcountry on earth. Is there forthcoming research on aparticular geographical region and historical periodof particular interest to you?It has been enormously gratifying to see students ofmine such as Joerg develop into scholars and teacherswho in turn have inspired you and your generation todo important work: Alexander Moradi (Sussex) onAfrica and Nikola Koepke (Barcelona) on the RomanEmpire, to name just a few. I myself do not have afavorite century or a favorite region. My focus is notanchored by space-time coordinates.What do you consider your most importantcontributions to scholarship?I discovered the “early-industrial-growth” puzzle—that is, the decline in heights at the onset of theIndustrial Revolution. This was controversial at41


first, because it strengthened the pessimists’ case inthe long-standing debate about the trend in livingstandards at the onset of modern economic growth.Puzzling over the puzzle, I soon realized that theconcurrent demographic revolution was leading to anold-fashioned Malthusian crisis—averted thanks to theIR’s counterweight.Next, I offered a solution to the antebellum puzzle—the height decrease that marked the generation bornjust prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. Thisdecrease was a puzzle because the Whig interpretationof history did not have room for a decline in heightsat the onset of modern economic growth. I showedthat industrialization came at the cost to the nutritionalstatus of the children who experienced it. Thisnegative externality was hitherto hidden from view.My interpretation of the historical record was a morenuanced way of conceiving of living standards, in thatit took into account the impact of industrialization onchildren as well as adults.That realization led me to the concept of the biologicalstandard of living as distinct from its conventionalcounterpart. It was a shorthand measure of how wellthe human organism itself thrives in its socioeconomicenvironment. This distinction led me to considerin depth how economic processes affect biologicalones—as deep as the cellular level. Joerg Baten andI organized several international conferences on thisnew field of study, “economics and human biology,”each of which was attended by about sixty scholarsfrom around the globe. The journal that goes by thesame name has now been thriving for ten years. So itseems that the creation of a field at the intersection ofeconomics and human biology was well received bythe scholarly community.The introduction of biology into the socioeconomicequation prompted me to think of economic agentsas breathing sentient beings and to offer a course,“Humanistic Economics,” at the University ofMunich, that attracted quite a following. I coveredsuch topics as behavioral economics, happinessresearch, imperfect information, oligopolistic marketstructures, and Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach. Idared to envision an economic system, which I called(with a tip of the hat to Alexander Dubcek) “capitalismwith a human face,” that featured a population thatreached its genetic potential in height as in theNetherlands, that was not overwhelmingly overweightor obese, had as high a happiness rate as in Denmark,had Scandinavian longevity, had a low crime rate, anexcellent educational system, financial stability, andso forth. I just finished a textbook on the subject, tobe published by M. E. Sharpe next Fall: What EveryEcon 101 Student Must Know… but doesn’t get instandard principles textbooks. So anthropometrichistory inspired me to devise the field of economicsand human biology, which in turn led me to devise thatof humanistic economics. And all this because I let mymind roam.You earned an excellent reputation not only as aresearcher but also as a lecturer at the Universityof Munich. What is the key to becoming a successfuleducator in the field of economic history?In a department devoted exclusively to what DeirdreMcCloskey—after Ronald Coase—calls “blackboardeconomics,” the students appreciated learning abouteconomics as a force in history: its impact on specificpeople in specific times and places. I would like tothink that my enthusiasm for the subject was not onlyevident but contagious -- that they were inspired bythe fact I was happy to be sharing with them certainideas that they were not getting in other courses, suchas that economic activity takes place in an institutionaland cultural context. I subscribe to Richard Feynman’sadvice to “bend over backwards” to be “utterlyhonest” with students. One result was that my ratingswere among the highest of all professors not only inthe department but at the whole university.I had a number of excellent role models from my owngrad-student days: Bob Fogel, who inspired me to doanthropometric history; Bert Hoselitz (an Austrianémigré and development economist who stood out asa non-conformist and who also had an influence onJohn Nash; Arcadius Kahan, also an émigré who hadthe ability to cross interdisciplinary boundaries andwho was my advisor on my first dissertation; EmileKarafiol, a historian of the Habsburg Monarchy whointroduced me to the very notion of Cliometrics;William McNeill, who had a global perspectivebefore that term was popular; D. McCloskey whoseexcitement about Cliometrics gave me a goodfoundation for further research; Eduard Maerz, whoinvited me to teach in Vienna; and James Tanner ofLondon, who taught me all I know about the biologyof human growth. They had a nurturing attitude,cared intensely about my development, and I merelycontinued that tradition.That attitude attracted students at all levels. Sograduate students such as Joerg Baten, Francesco42


Cinnirella (Ifo), Michela Coppola (Max-Planck), TimCuff (Westminster), Benjamin Lauderdale (LSE), andMarco Sunder (Leipzig), but also post-docs such asBrian A’Hearn (Oxford) and Ulrich Woitek (Zurich)found my institute a congenial place to spend sometime. Marco Sunder won the Economic HistoryAssociation’s prestigious Allan Nevins Prize forthe best dissertation in American economic historyin 2008—the first time that the prize has gone to aGerman student. Joerg Baten’s dissertation also wonprizes, so there was a good atmosphere at the Instituteof Economic History at all levels.The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Researchfocuses on past and present demography andeconomics. Do you see a need to establish a similar,independent, institute, focused exclusively on past andpresent anthropometry and economics?No—but it would be great to make room for thesubject within institutes devoted, for example, tohealth or to the study of living standards.In the long list of your publications, there is a, outlier.Most of your contributions are clearly scholarlyones, but The Chicago Guide to an Academic Career(which you co-authored with John Goldsmith andPenny Schine Gold and published by the Universityof Chicago Press in 2001) is obviously different: it iswritten as an informal conversation among scholarsand is addressed to recent graduates. Can you tell usmore about this project?The format was suggested by the publisher. We justwanted to help graduate students prepare for a careerin academia. It was written in the spirit of the time;that is, with the aim of nurturing young talent. I myselfwould have benefited from a similar text when I wasin graduate school.You are an economic historian with extensiveexperience in academia in both Europe (Germany,mostly) and the United States. Do you see adivergence or a convergence of the two in regard tomeans and to aims? How do recruitment and fundingprocesses differ?American economics departments have beeneliminating economic history from their curricula;now German departments are doing likewise. RichardTilly’s position, for instance, was discontinued uponhis retirement. However, thanks to the popularity ofeconomic history in Munich, this did not happen therewhen I retired. Not surprisingly, my departmentalcolleagues had wanted to follow the crowd; I cast thesingle dissenting vote. But after this departmentalvote—which came as a surprise to me, since it hadnot been listed on the agenda—and after even theuniversity senate had approved the discontinuation, Iorganized a campaign objecting to the decision, whichwas supported by many colleagues from around theglobe; an outcry on the part of many students alsocontributed to the success of the campaign—of which,needless to say, I am quite proud.Despite victory in that particular battle, economichistory has suffered severe setbacks on many otherfronts, and at a time when both the need and thedemand for it are greater than ever. I have startedteaching a course on economics and human biologyat Duke University—the only one like it in theworld—and it is always sold out. This summer I willbe teaching a course on the “The History of FinancialCrisis” at Harvard, and it is already closed as well.So evidently there is a great need for courses thatconsider extensive stretches of time, that explore thenitty-gritty of economic systems in an inductive way,that are not merely offshoots of mathematical theorybut instead weave into the economic narrative ideasfrom sociology, history, and political science. Thereis an ever-increasing demand for this interdisciplinaryapproach from the students. So universities should behiring, not firing, economic historians.In Germany, chairs in economic history have dedicatedfunds in order to sponsor dissertations and researchin general; this policy spared me the uncertainties ofthe grant-application process as in the US. Similarly,the German equivalent of the National ScienceFoundation dedicates funds to those of us working inthe field of economic history, in particular, therebyeliminating competition with theoretical economistsBob Fogel was a serious scholar, of course, buthe was often quite humorous, in a Yogi Bera way.He often said things that were funny, but he didn’treally mean them to sound funny. One time, Bobvisited our home in North Carolina during the daysof research on Time on the Cross. Towards the endof the visit, Bob said: “It’s a bit ironic that I’m herelooking at these farm records because I was 18years old before I realized that the normal conditionof the surface of the earth was not to be covered inasphalt.”---Richard Sylla43


and permitting me to get on with my research.Econometric historians tend to forget that the word“history” contains the word “story.” Generally,pure historians and area specialists, along withanthropologists, undervalue the contributions ofCliometricians’ published works. Do you think thatCliometrics will continue to be regarded as nothingmore than a subdiscipline of economics?The compartmentalization of intellectual life withinacademia jeopardizes an interdisciplinary subject suchas economic history. The remedy is to change theincentive structure and the institutional organizationof the university system. The faculty in both historyand economics departments would have to make spacefor such programs, but I don’t see this happening.The economics discipline cannot possibly succeedwithout a proper dose of economic history, but mostof those able to communicate comfortably across thedisciplines are gone. In the 1970s, Cliometrics was inits heyday: there were three tenured professors at theUniversity of Chicago alone! It was a respected field.Today half of the top schools do not have a singleeconomic historian on the faculty.Finally, please feel free to comment on any issuethat has not yet been addressed in this interview andthat you would like to share with the readers of TheNewsletter of the Cliometric Society.We should organize a more concerted effort toconvince our colleagues that economic history isan indispensable subject and that every economicsdepartment, every history department, and everybusiness school should have a specialist in the ourfield. If this were the case, I dare to venture that theworld economy would be in better shape.ReferencesBurkhard Bilger, “Europeans are getting taller; why aren’twe?” The New Yorker, April 5, 2004, pp. 38-45.Paul Krugman, “America comes up short,” The New YorkTimes, June 15, 2007.Jon Stewart, “The Stature of Liberty,” The Daily Show(June 21, 2007).Selected Works by John Komlos“A Three-Decade “Kuhnian” History of the AntebellumPuzzle: Explaining the shrinking of the US population atthe onset of modern economic growth,” The Journal of theHistorical Society 12 (2012), 4:395-445.“The Diminution of Physical Stature of the British MalePopulation in the 18 th -Century,” Cliometrica, 6 (2012), 1:45-62. (with Helmut Küchenhoff)“The Trend of Mean BMI Values of US Adults, birthcohorts 1882-1986 indicates that the obesity epidemicbegan earlier than hitherto thought,” American Journal ofHuman Biology, 22 (2010): 631-638. (with Marek Brabec)“Underperformance in Affluence; the remarkable relativedecline in American heights in the second half of the 20 th -century,” Social Science Quarterly (June, 2007) 88, 2:283-304. (with Benjamin E. Lauderdale)“Access to Food and the Biological Standard ofLiving: Perspectives on the Nutritional Status of NativeAmericans,” American Economic Review, 91:1 (March2003): 252-255.“The Industrial Revolution as the Escape from theMalthusian Trap,” Journal of European Economic History29:2-3 (Fall/Winter 2000): 307-331.“Shrinking in a Growing Economy? The Mystery ofPhysical Stature during the Industrial Revolution,” TheJournal of Economic History 58 (1998) 3: 779-802.44“The Height and Weight of West Point Cadets: DietaryChange in Antebellum America,” The Journal of EconomicHistory 47 (1987): 897-927.“Population Growth Through History and the Escape fromthe Malthusian Trap: A Homeostatic Simulation Model,”Genus 41 (1985): 21-40. (with Marc Artzrouni)“Stature and Nutrition in the Habsburg Monarchy: TheStandard of Living and Economic Development,” AmericanHistorical Review 90 (1985): 1149-1161.The Habsburg Monarchy as a Customs Union. EconomicDevelopment in Austria-Hungary in the Nineteenth Century(Princeton University Press: 1983).


In Memory of Cynthia Taft MorrisCynthia Taft Morrispassed away on July16, 2013 at the age of85. She was born inCincinnati, Ohio, on April28, 1928. She was thegranddaughter of U.S.President and SupremeCourt Chief JusticeWilliam Howard Taft, andthe daughter of formerCincinnati Mayor CharlesP. Taft II. Among hernumerous accomplishments, she was the founder ofthe Washington Area Economic History Seminar andserved as the 40th president of the Economic HistoryAssociation from 1993-94.could read Spanish, Italian and Dutch. She lived inGermany, Austria, France, Lebanon, Switzerland, andthe Netherlands.Morris and coauthor Irma Adelman broke ground withquantitative analysis of the determinants of economicdevelopment, publishing two books. They then appliedtheir technique to the economic history of the worldfor a third book. In all three books, they were pioneersin including social, political, and institutional factorsin their economic analyses.Though she made few public presentations ofher research, Morris did present at the CliometricSociety meetings for the first time in 1978, and madesubsequent appearances at the annual conference, mostrecently at the 2000 World Congress in Montreal.She was Distinguished Economist in Residence atAmerican University since retiring as the CharlesN. Clark Professor of Economics at Smith Collegein 1998. She had previously held positions atthe American University of Beirut, the Agencyfor International Development, the EconomicCommission for Europe in Geneva, and the MutualSecurity Agency in Paris.She earned a BA in International Relations fromVassar College (1949), an MSc in Labor Economicsfrom the London School of Economics (1951), anda PhD in Economics from Yale University (1959),where she studied with pioneer labor economist LloydReynolds.She was a devotee of travel, research, and worldculture. She spoke French and German fluently, andAmong her awards and honors were four NSF grants,membership in the American Academy of Arts andSciences, membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She wasmost proud of: being named the Honored Professor atSmith College in 1996.While she was a gifted and highly regarded scholarwith four books and 30 scholarly articles on herresume, Morris was most passionate about herteaching. She was demanding, but cared deeply forany student who gave an honest effort.She is survived by a brother, two children, andgrandchildren. A memorial service is tentativelyplanned for October in Washington, D.C. In lieuof flowers, the family requests that friends make adonation in her name to an organization of mutualinterest with Cynthia.45

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