Journal of European Economic History - 2024 issue 1

Volume LI

Bancaria Editrice
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The Real Junta Particular de Comercio of Barcelona: A Model of Mediation between Central Power and Local Economic Bodies (18th-19th Centuries)
Economic development is the result of various factors operating in space and time. For some time now, economics has been looking more closely at the role played by institutions as a driving and propelling force behind economic development. More recently, the action carried out by intermediate institutions has been highlighted, i.e. those bodies placed between government institutions and social actors, often originating from below. The case of the Real Junta Particular de Comercio (Royal Council of Commerce) in Barcelona, represents quite accurately the functioning and role of an intermediate institution, the result of the centralising action of the Spanish monarchy in the 18th century, but constituted through absorption of instances and elements of the urban social fabric. In particular, the study tries to highlight the action carried out by this institution to redistribute public goods such as knowledge, technology and rights to an audience made up of enterprises that wouldn’t otherwise have obtained them.
Managing Monetary Policy facing U.S. External Constraint and Internal Macroeconomic Divergences: the Case of the Western European Central Banks in the 1980s
This paper offers a narrative description of Western European monetary policies during the 1980s, seen from a French and European perspective and based on the archives of the General Council of the Bank of France and of the Committee of Governors (CoG) of the central banks of the member states of the European Economic Community. We show that the external constraint faced by Western European central banks in the 1980s was composed of three factors. Western European monetary authorities had limited flexibility at that time, as the “direct” and “indirect influences” of the U.S. monetary policy, as well as macroeconomic divergences between France and West Germany, deeply restrained monetary policies. We show that European central banks were constrained by the evolution of the U.S. monetary policy (“direct influence”), by the variations of the U.S. exchange rate and their consequence on the German Mark exchange rate within the European Monetary System (“indirect influence”), and by the inflation rate differential between France and West Germany, which was the most important of the “internal macroeconomic imbalances”. We also underline the evolution of these three elements of external constraint throughout the decade.
Not Only the Poor! A Closer Look at Regional Differences in Italian Emigration (1946-2019)
Although much research on migration has been carried out over the years, the focus of the attention has been mostly on immigration and its effects on the host countries and the economic drivers for choosing migration. Italian emigration abroad in post-World War II (1946-73) and in the 21st century (2004-19) forms a key part of Italy’s recent history. Converging and diverging trends in Italian emigration have not received enough attention in literature to date. The aim of this study is to compare the two periods of mass emigration, highlighting differences and similarities by analysing the emigration trends from the various Italian Regions, using percentage values, as opposed to absolute values, which can often distort the true picture. The study provides a historical overview of the changes in Italian emigration on both the macro-area and regional levels. The use of secondary literature and data allowed for an analysis between the different regional origins of the migrants and the emigration trends in the regions, as well as for the formulation of hypotheses regarding the emigrants’ migration motives. This research helps fill the gap in literature through the comparison of the 1946-1973 and 2004-2019 periods of Italian mass emigration. The findings reveal the scale of this emigration, the various regional origins of the emigrants, the regional differences in the trends, the attitude to emigration in sender societies and also the potential reasons behind the emigrants’ departure. Results provide enough information to affirm that today Italian emigration is due to the increased movements of people in a globally interconnected labour market, but, unlike the 1946-1973 mass migration, it pertains mainly to higher-income Italian regions, highlighting the importance of the need to look beyond the purely economic drivers and determinants to better understand the reasons behind the choice to emigrate.
Past and Present
Origins and Perspectives of the Humanitarian Corridors’ Programme - Just a Matter of Economic Sustainability?
As the Humanitarian Corridors’ programme is gaining more attention in the international debate, this article goes back to its onset through original documentation. An in-depth analysis of its first memoranda of understanding will help to shed light on how everything started and how a pilot project became one of the most viable solutions prompted by the EU to the so-called migration crises. After retracing the origins of this initiative through a historical approach, the present contribution offers finally a reflection about possible developments of Humanitarian Corridors in international politics, both at a European level and in a wider sense.
Book Reviews
Antonio Bonatesta
Acqua, stato, nazione. Storia delle acque sotterranee in Italia dall’età Liberale al Fascismo
Salvatore Valenti

Catherine Brégianni
From the Greek Struggle of Independence (1821) to the Forced Exchange of Populations (1922). Representations of the Revolution in the Interwar Period. Ceremonies – Symbols – Emblems
Konstantinos Doukakis

A. Alberola, D. Cecere (eds.)
Rischio, catastrofe e gestione dell’emergenza nel Mediterraneo occidentale e in Ispanoamerica in età moderna
Idamaria Fusco

Geoffrey M. Hodgson
The Wealth of a Nation. Institutional foundations of English capitalism
Giampaolo Conte

Ramón Lanza García (ed.)
Finanzas y crisis financieras en la Monarquía Hispánica, siglos XVI-XVII
Fabrizio Filioli Uranio

Glory M. Liu
Adam Smith’s America: How a Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism
Chris Hong

Perry Mehrling
The New Lombard Street: How the Fed Became the Dealer of Last Resort
Eduardo Terra Romero

A. Orlandi
La ricchezza del debito pubblico (secoli XII-XXI)
Giuseppe Conti

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