Journal of European Economic History - 2017 issue 1

Volume XLVI

Bancaria Editrice
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The Stall and New Start of the 1950s: European Integration at the Crossroads
In the light of the protracted and complex crisis afflicting Europe (at once economic, political, security- and migration-related), and on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Journal is issuing a call for papers for a monographic issue ("Stall and new start ...") that will come out in the second half of 2017 (No. 3, 2017). The recent emphasis on the importance of the Ventotene Manifesto for the history of European integration was right and prop - er. But there is another moment, too, that would reward closer examination. In 1954, following the French Parliament’s vote against the European Defence Community, pro-European parties and leaders were swamped by a wave of skepticism and pessimism. They reacted by organizing the conferences of Messina (1955) and Venice (1956), which laid the basis for the founding of the Common Market in 1957.
The Nature of Competition: Finnish Cartels in the Interwar Period
This article examines the use of the concept of competition by three Finnish cartels in the period between the two world wars. Cartels were designed to restrict the scope of competition in the economy by controlling it. Their existence rested on the concept of competition, underscoring the importance of defining their relationship with it. A distinctive vocabulary of competition evolved within cartels as part of an anti-competitive discourse reflecting the view that competition was fundamentally detrimental. First, competition was seen as a threat comparable to a disease, an idea reflected in value judgments branding it as "destructive", "depressive", "unhealthy" or "insane". But the cartels also employed moral judgements to legitimize cooperation, not justifying their position primarily on the basis of rational arguments, but stressing the "fairness" of excluding competitors from the market. The anti-competitive discourse was employed as a tool of the cartels’ strategy to attain two objectives: first, to restrict competition in the domestic market and, eventually, to secure their own existence by legitimizing their monopolistic nature
The Sustainability of Portuguese Fiscal Policy in the Period of the Estado Novo, 1933-1974
From 1933 to 1974, Portugal was governed by a political regime known as the Estado Novo (New State), which authoritatively upheld the principle of maintaining sound public finances. This paper accordingly sets out to test the sustainability of Portuguese fiscal policy during that period. Using tests for stationarity and cointegration, we find sufficient evidence that fiscal policy sustainability characterised the period of the Estado Novo as a whole. However, the onset of colonial warfare in 1961 may have marked a shift towards unsustainable fiscal policy.
Historical "Real Wage Gaps": A Lesson for Economists from Economic History
"The Real Wage Gap" was the internationally accepted explanation for the sudden increase in unemployment which occurred in several countries in the mid-1970s. The term "Real Wage Gap" referred to an increase in real wages relative to labour productivity and hence was a convoluted way of saying that the share of wages in national income had risen. Those proposing this hypothesis, on the basis of neo-classical analysis, failed to acknowledge that such sudden displacements in the wage share are very rare, or to examine the historical record for the consequences of past "Real Wage Gaps". Henry Phelps Brown had examined the historical record and demonstrated the rarity of such events: he detected two occasions in the 19th century. Richard Freeman would classify a "Real Wage Gap" as a "natural experiment". The experimental approach involves replication, which, in the case of economics, requires examination of the historical record to detect comparable "natural experiments"; in this case to assess the impact of historical "real wage gaps". The two 19th century "real wage gaps" detected by Phelps Brown and four which occurred in the 1960s are investigated; in no case was the neo-classical expectation of an increase in unemployment confirmed. Nor was the Keynesian/Post-Keynesian prediction of an increase in the aggregate consumption confirmed. Therefore economists from these competing paradigms both have valuable lessons to learn from an examination of the historical record.
Contribution to a Model of Very-Long-Term Economic Development
This paper presents a model of very-long-term economic development, distinguishing between an epoch of exogenous economic development, corresponding to traditional economies, in which structural transformations were rare and exceptional, and an epoch of endogenous economic development, corresponding to Kuznets’ "modern economic growth", in which structural transformations have become frequent. Within the framework presented here, it is possible to explain modern economic growth as a consequence of the fact that scientific and technological research is a superior good whose results promote structural transformations in the economy that enlarge its viability zone. Thus, the very fact that per capita income exceeded some threshold levels triggered endogenous economic development on a global scale. Episodes of divergence and convergence among national and regional economic systems within the contemporary world economy can be at least partially explained by feedback effects of the economic development processes.
Abou B. Bamba
African Miracle, African Mirage. Transnational Politics and the Paradox of Modernization in Ivory Coast
Filippo Di Iorio

Alberto Basciani
L’Illusione della Modernità. Il Sud-Est dell’Europa tra le due guerre mondiali
Giampaolo Conte

Michele Colucci, Stefano Gallo (eds.)
L’arte di spostarsi. Rapporto 2014 sulle migrazioni interne in Italia; Tempo di cambiare. Rapporto 2015 sulle migrazioni interne in Italia; Fare spazio. Rapporto 2016 sulle migrazioni interne in Italia
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Bâtiment en famille. Migrations et petite entreprise en banlieue parisienne au XXe siècle
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