Economic history

Rui Esteves, 15 February 2019

A new data set compiles the history of international finance spanning a century and a half, revealing new information about globalisation, crises and capital flows. Rui Esteves of the Graduate Institute, Geneva, tells Tim Phillips what lessons it offers for policymakers today.

Charles Calomiris, Matthew Jaremski, David Wheelock, 12 February 2019

Banks have direct contractual exposures to one another through a variety of channels, and regulators are concerned about the systemic risk that may result from this. This column examines the Great Depression in the US and describes how important contractual contagion occurred during the Depression which significantly worsened the failure risk of banks by increasing liquidity risk. The findings call for regulatory policies that take account of potential contractual contagion, and that require minimum prudential capital and liquidity buffers to take liquidity risks into account.

Jörg Baten, Alexandra de Pleijt, 11 February 2019

Empirical evidence suggests a positive relationship between gender equality and long-term economic growth, but establishing the direction of causality has been hampered by a lack of consistent data. This column uses historical evidence on dairy farming to examine the growth effects of gender equality. Countries with greater female autonomy allowed women to contribute more to human capital formation and prosperity, leading to greater economic development in the long run.

Maryaline Catillon, David M. Cutler, Thomas E. Getzen, 09 February 2019

Growth in life expectancy during the last two centuries has been attributed to environmental change, productivity growth, improved nutrition, and better hygiene, rather than to advances in medical care. This column traces the development of medical care and the extension of longevity in the US from 1800 forward to provide a long-term look at health and health care in the US. It demonstrates that the contribution of medical care to life-expectancy gains changed over time. 

Kevin O'Rourke, 01 February 2019

Trade growth is slowing down. But is it, as the media and populist politicians claim, the end of globalisation? Kevin O'Rourke tells Tim Phillips how economic history can answer the question, and what we can learn from the history of global trade.

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