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Economic History

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Mortality and Living Standards in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900

This highly original book -- the first in a series analyzing historical population behavior in Europe and Asia -- pioneers a new approach to the comparative analysis of societies in the past. Using techniques of event history analysis, the authors examine 100,000 life histories in 100 rural communities in Western Europe and Asia to analyze the demographic response to social and economic pressures.

Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey

János Kornai, a distinguished Hungarian economist, began his adult life as an ardent believer in socialism and then became a critic of the communist political and economic system. He lost family members in the Holocaust, contributed to the ideological preparation for the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and became an influential theorist of the post-Soviet economic transition. He has been a journalist, a researcher prohibited from teaching in his home country, and a tenured professor at Harvard.

This startlingly original (and sure to be controversial) account of the evolution of Christianity shows that the economics of religion has little to do with counting the money in the collection basket and much to do with understanding the background of today's religious and political divisions. Since religion is a set of organized beliefs, and a church is an organized body of worshippers, it's natural to use a science that seeks to explain the behavior of organizations--economics--to understand the development of organized religion.

Currency boards, more so than other exchange rate regimes, have come in and out of fashion. Defined by a fixed exchange rate with full convertibility, central bank liabilities backed with foreign exchange reserves, and a high cost of exiting the regime, currency boards were common in colonial times--until most were cast off as countries gained independence after World War II.

Two Centuries of Policy and Performance

World mass migration began in the early nineteenth century, when advances in transportation technology and industrial revolutions at home enabled increasing numbers of people to set off for other parts of the globe in search of a better life. Two centuries later, there is no distant African, Asian, or Latin American village that is not within reach of some high-wage OECD labor market. This book is the first comprehensive economic assessment of world mass migration taking a long-run historical perspective, including north-north, south-south, and south-north migrations.

Essays in Honor of Jeffrey G. Williamson

The innovative approach to economic history known as the New Comparative Economic History represents a distinct change in the way that many economic historians view their role, do their work, and interact with the broader economics profession. The New Comparative Economic History reflects a belief that economic processes can best be understood by systematically comparing experiences across time, regions, and, above all, countries.

Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective

The repeal of Britain's Corn Laws in 1846--one of the most important economic policy decisions of the nineteenth century--has long intrigued and puzzled political scientists, historians, and economists. Why would a Conservative prime minister act against his own party's interests? The Conservatives entered government in 1841 with a strong commitment to protecting agriculture; five years later, the Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel presided over repeal of the protectionist Corn Laws, violating party principles and undercutting the economic interests of the land-owning aristocracy.

Eli Heckscher (1879-1952) is celebrated for his contributions to international trade theory, particularly the factor proportions theory of comparative advantage in international trade known as the Heckscher-Ohlin theory. His work in both economic theory and economic history is notable for combining theoretical insights with a profound knowledge of economic history and the history of economic thought.

The Road to the Future

In this book Takeo Hoshi and Anil Kashyap examine the history of the Japanese financial system, from its nineteenth-century beginnings through the collapse of the 1990s that concluded with sweeping reforms. Combining financial theory with new data and original case studies, they show why the Japanese financial system developed as it did and how its history affects its ongoing evolution.

A Retrospective

Charles P. Kindleberger's rich and distinguised career has spanned nearly six decades. The essays collected here reflect the author's shift in interests from foreign exchange to international trade, economic growth, and economic history, especially financial history. They also contain dollops of sociology and political science. Kindleberger views himself as a historical economist who tests economic propositions against the historical record in more than one setting. The collection contains many of the jewels of Kindleberger's work.

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