Sessions of the Second Latin American Economic History Congress

September 21, 2009

Wordle: CLADHE-II: List of sessions

Here is the list of preapproved sessions  of the Second Latin American Economic History Congress (CLADHE-II), to be held in Mexico City on February 3-5, 2010. To submit a paper to any of the sessions, you have to go here.

Wordle: CLADHE-II: Lista de simposios

Magra C. (2007) For cod and country, fishermen and the American Revolution

July 14, 2009

Magra, Christopher P. (2007) “The New England Cod Fishing Industry and Maritime Dimensions of the American Revolution”8/4, Entreprise and Society, 799-806.

Fish CodPicture 1Picture 9

Intro: “a vibrant colonial extractive industry”

During the 18th century, cod fishing (at the sale thereof to Catholic Europe) allowed the young American colonies to reap enormous profits. From 1768 to 1772, “fish contributed 35% of New England’s total export revenue, making it the single most valuable export product for the entire region”. At that time, the area haboured around 600 vessels, representing about 25,000 tons (p.799) and employing over 4,400 people. Read the rest of this entry »

On “Stocks for the Long Run”, revisited

July 14, 2009
Stocks for the Long Run

The book in question

Financial journalist and “The Inteligent Investor” columnist Jason Zweig writes in the Wall Street Journal on the consistency of long-term stock market time series used in Jeremy Siegel’s Stocks for the Long Run book. In his article, Zweig questions how useful and reliable is to analyze financial markets with (weakly constructed) historical stock-market data, and argues against a popular belief that relied on these time series, i. e., that equity returns excede bond returns in the long-term.

Read the rest of this entry »

De Vries J. (2005) The Dutch Atlantic economies

July 9, 2009

De Vries, Jan (2005) “The Dutch Atlantic Economies”, in  Peter A. Coclanis, ed., The Atlantic Economy During The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries: Organization, Operation, Practice, And Personnel, Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, p.1-10.

Picture 1Picture 3Picture 2

Buy the book on line.

Initial forays

The Dutch started venturing outside the European waters in the late 16th century. This first Dutch Atlantic economy was built upon small private commercial partnerships (partenrederijen) drawn up usually for the duration of the voyage and led by an active partner who participated to the trip (p.2). Read the rest of this entry »

Hancock D. (2003) Madeira wine: the rise of a trans-imperial market economy

July 7, 2009

Hancock, David J. (2003) “L’émergence d’une économie de réseau (1640-1815). Le vin de Madère”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 58/3, 649-672.

Picture 53Picture 54Picture 55

English version available here (pdf).

The Atlantic during the early modern period became a coherent “functional unit” integrating three continents; as such it is an essential concept for historians (p.649). In the 18th century in particular the economic linkage intensified (p.650). The rise of the Madeira wine is part of this decentralized and self-organized growth of an integrated Atlantic space. Read the rest of this entry »

Lovejoy P. and Richardson D. (2001) Pawnship in West Africa during the slave trade

July 7, 2009

Lovejoy, Paul E. and Richardson, David (2001) “The Business of Slaving: Pawnship in Western Africa, c.1600-1810”, The Journal of African History, 42/1, 67-89.

Picture 49Picture 51Picture 48

“The institution of pawnship, specially the use of people as collateral for credit, helped underpin the Atlantic slave trade” (p.68). Leaving people as collateral solve the trust issue attached to credit (p.69).

Several types of pawnships existed (p.70). Europeans often reported the habit for one to pawn himself if too poor to survive. People also often offered themselves as collateral for a credits and  if they failed to repay, they became slaves for debt (p.71). In domestic trade the use of pawns to guarantee a debt seem to have been fairly common in 18th-century West Africa. The institution seems to have been indigenous (p.72). Read the rest of this entry »

Drelichman M. and Voth H.-J. (2008) Was Golden Age Spain cursed?

July 6, 2009

Drelichman, Mauricio and Voth, Hans-Joachim (2008) “Institutions and the Resource Curse in Early Modern Spain”, in Helpman, Elhanan; ed. Institutions and Economic Performance, Cambridge, Ma: Harvard University Press, 34p.

Picture 43Picture 44Picture 42

This paper is available here (pdf).


During the late 16th and 17th century, the Spanish crown defaulted several times on its debts, growth was sluggish and population eventually shrank (p.4). The cause of this failure has been known for a while: the ‘resource curse’, or in other words, the “undesirable economic outcomes associated with natural resources abundance”.

The most famous of these symptoms has been called the ‘Dutch disease’. In that case, the resource-oriented sector of the economy attracts in priority the production factors, thus depleting the innovation-rich manufactory sector and making the country dependant on import, thus deteriorating the terms of trade (p.5). Read the rest of this entry »