Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

All days
Go back

Wednesday 12 April 2023 16.30 - 18.30
E-4 ECO19 The Causes and Effects of Economic Inequality since 1700
B22
Network: Economic History Chair: Christiaan van Bochove
Organizers: - Discussants: -
Moderators: -
Alfonso Diez Minguela, Alicia Gómez-Tello & Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia & Julio Martinez-Galarraga & Daniel A. Tirado-Fabregat : State Capacity and the Uneven Cost of Nation Building: Language Mismatch and Literacy Levels in Valenciaaaa
This paper studies the impact generated by the existence of a mismatch between the language of instruction and the language of use of the population in the context of the construction of the liberal state in Spain. In particular, the work analyzes the effects of the presence of this linguistic ... (Show more)
This paper studies the impact generated by the existence of a mismatch between the language of instruction and the language of use of the population in the context of the construction of the liberal state in Spain. In particular, the work analyzes the effects of the presence of this linguistic distance on the unequal diffusion of literacy among the municipalities that made up the former Kingdom of Valencia from 1860 to 1930. For the development of the analysis, a novel data set has been constructed with information that includes the literacy rates of the 524 municipalities that make up the region of Valencia (Valencian Community) in three points in time (1860, 1900 and 1930), the linguistic domain to which each municipality belongs, as well as the institutional, geographic and economic characteristics of each municipality at the end of the Ancien Régime (1787). Based on the available information, the analysis uses Propensity Score Matching techniques to verify the existence of an effect on the literacy levels recorded in Spanish-speaking municipalities with respect to Catalan-speaking ones. Two main results are obtained. The first is to identify the existence of differences in educational outcomes derived from the presence of a mismatch effect. Secondly, it is also shown that this effect only appears when the Spanish state enjoyed the capacity to force compliance with language regulations in public schools, in parallel with the advance of its financial and administrative capacity and the incipient advance of a democratic regime.
(Show less)

Jonas Geweke, Katja Rost & Malte Doehne : Determinants of Early Modern State Capacity: the Case of Swiss City-States, 1650-1798
While existing research explains the determinants of national state capacity in the 19th century, the origins of state capacity lie at the sub-national level. To analyse the determinants of sub-national state capacity in early modern times, this paper focuses on the case of Swiss city-states. Swiss city-states typically suffered under ... (Show more)
While existing research explains the determinants of national state capacity in the 19th century, the origins of state capacity lie at the sub-national level. To analyse the determinants of sub-national state capacity in early modern times, this paper focuses on the case of Swiss city-states. Swiss city-states typically suffered under an increasing oligarchization of their political system in the 17th and 18th century, giving rise to corruption and the embezzlement of state finances. To combat power monopolization, some Swiss city-states (i.e., Basel) reformed their election system by randomly selecting political representatives from a pre-elected pool of candidates. Other city-states continued to use traditional selection techniques (i.e., Zurich). This article employs new panel data sets to investigate the effects of these electoral reforms on political equality and state capacity in Zurich and Basel. We have compiled fine-grained information on all political representatives in both city-states between 1650 to 1798. We tie these microdatasets back to the macro-level by compiling data on the cities' fiscal capacity, infrastructure expenditures, and trade volumes. Using fixed-effects regression designs, we find that the introduction of lottery-based election systems improved the equality of distribution of political seats within parliamentary assemblies. We show that this had positive effects on state finances. In states implementing reforms (i.e., Basel), tax revenues and the provision of infrastructure increased. We explain this finding by showing that the introduction of focal random selection was associated with the election of merchants into government positions. City-states under traditional election systems (i.e., Zurich) continued to be predominantly governed by rentiers. Lottery-based election systems thus seem to have helped to overcome power monopolization and its negative effects on state development. (Show less)

Mikolaj Malinowski : Incredible Commitment: Oligarchy and State Failure in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Parliamentary regimes can develop as instruments of state capture and influence accumulation by elites. Gradual concentration of socio-political influence by oligarchs may undermine the elite’s ability to commit credibly to political contracts, reach consensus, and sustain the extractive regime. By analysing a vast genealogical dataset of the elite of the ... (Show more)
Parliamentary regimes can develop as instruments of state capture and influence accumulation by elites. Gradual concentration of socio-political influence by oligarchs may undermine the elite’s ability to commit credibly to political contracts, reach consensus, and sustain the extractive regime. By analysing a vast genealogical dataset of the elite of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, I construct annual measures of the socio-political capital of every senator between 1569 and 1795. I show that influence concentration by the elite-within-the-elite eroded the ‘elite-binds-itself’ contract-enforcement mechanism that facilitated consensus-making. This led to a parliamentary gridlock and state failure. (Show less)

Gianni Marciante : When Nation Building Goes South: Draft Evasion, Government Repression, and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia
This paper claims that the emergence of the mafia in Sicily in the nineteenth century was in part caused by the discontent with the central government in the Sicilian society during the Italian unification process (1860-1870).
In 1863, while the Italian rulers were striving to hold the newborn country together, ... (Show more)
This paper claims that the emergence of the mafia in Sicily in the nineteenth century was in part caused by the discontent with the central government in the Sicilian society during the Italian unification process (1860-1870).
In 1863, while the Italian rulers were striving to hold the newborn country together, a key episode deeply compromised the state legitimacy in Sicily: a repressive military campaign ordered by the central government to curb massive draft evasion in the island. This campaign significantly raised the distrust in the government (Alatri, 1954) and, in turn, helped the Sicilian mafia gain popular support across the region, in line with what theorized by Gambetta (1993).
In this paper I empirically investigate the above hypothesis and show that the Sicilian mafia was originally more likely to spread to municipalities involved in the 1863 repression campaign. To do so, I use original data from the Borsani-Bonfadini parliamentary enquiry on the conditions of public security in Sicily, held in 1875, to infer mafia presence at the municipality level. The town-level data on exposure to military repression are instead mainly derived from the digitalization of a large number of military reports and notes belonging to Giuseppe Govone, the army general in charge of the military operations being studied.
To generate exogenous variation in military repression, I rely on archival data containing information on the itinerary of the army to construct least cost paths connecting targeted towns, using the historical (1826) road network. The results hold after controlling for other determinants of the early spread of the mafia in Sicily (e.g. Buonanno et al., 2015; Dimico et al., 2017; Acemoglu et al., 2019) and are also robust to different estimation techniques, such as propensity score and geographical matching. Moreover, I document a positive and statistically significant relationship between repression and mafia presence in 1900, suggesting that government repression committed during a crucial process of institutional change may have had enduring social consequences in Sicily.
In a preliminary mechanism analysis, I find that repression-hit towns experienced on average a lower trust in institutions in the short term, as measured by electoral turnout in 1867, compared to non-repressed towns. I then present some qualitative evidence, taken from Sonnino (1881), Dickie (2004) and General Govone’s personal letters, in support of the latter result.
Overall, my results suggest that coercive nation building reforms can unintentionally fuel organized crime and lead to the emergence of mafia-type organizations. (Show less)



Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer