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An Economic History of New Zealand in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

John Singleton, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand Living standards in New Zealand were among the highest in the world between the late nineteenth century and the 1960s. But New Zealand’s economic growth was very sluggish between 1950 and the early 1990s, and most Western European countries, as well as several in East Asia, overtook […]

Labor Unions in the United States

Gerald Friedman, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Unions and Collective Action In capitalist labor markets, which developed in the nineteenth-century in the United States and Western Europe, workers exchange their time and effort for wages. But even while laboring under the supervision of others, wage earners have never been slaves, because they have recourse from […]

The History of American Labor Market Institutions and Outcomes

Joshua Rosenbloom, University of Kansas One of the most important implications of modern microeconomic theory is that perfectly competitive markets produce an efficient allocation of resources. Historically, however, most markets have not approached the level of organization of this theoretical ideal. Instead of the costless and instantaneous communication envisioned in theory, market participants must rely […]

Economic History of Hong Kong

Catherine R. Schenk, University of Glasgow Hong Kong’s economic and political history has been primarily determined by its geographical location. The territory of Hong Kong is comprised of two main islands (Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island) and a mainland hinterland. It thus forms a natural geographic port for Guangdong province in Southeast China. In […]

Manufactured and Natural Gas Industry

Christopher Castaneda, California State University – Sacramento The historical gas industry includes two chemically distinct flammable gasses. These are natural gas and several variations of manufactured coal gas. Natural gas is composed primarily of methane, a hydrocarbon composed of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms, or CH4. As a “fossil fuel,” natural gas flowing […]

Fair Housing Laws

William J. Collins, Vanderbilt University Before the Civil Rights Movement, housing market discrimination was common and blatant, especially against African Americans but also against Jews and other minority groups.1 This essay focuses on the treatment of African Americans, but readers should keep in the mind the pervasiveness of housing discrimination around 1950. By “discrimination,” I […]

The Dutch Economy in the Golden Age (16th – 17th Centuries)

Donald J. Harreld, Brigham Young University In just over one hundred years, the provinces of the Northern Netherlands went from relative obscurity as the poor cousins of the industrious and heavily urbanized Southern Netherlands provinces of Flanders and Brabant to the pinnacle of European commercial success. Taking advantage of a favorable agricultural base, the Dutch […]

An Economic History of Copyright in Europe and the United States

B. Zorina Khan, Bowdoin College Introduction Copyright is a form of intellectual property that provides legal protection against unauthorized copying of the producer’s original expression in products such as art, music, books, articles, and software. Economists have paid relatively little scholarly attention to copyrights, although recent debates about piracy and “the digital dilemma” (free use […]

The Economic Impact of the Black Death

David Routt, University of Richmond The Black Death was the largest demographic disaster in European history. From its arrival in Italy in late 1347 through its clockwise movement across the continent to its petering out in the Russian hinterlands in 1353, the magna pestilencia (great pestilence) killed between seventeen and twenty—eight million people. Its gruesome […]

History and Financial Crises: Lessons from the 20th Century

Published by EH.Net (August 2013) Christopher Kobrak and Mira Wilkins, editors, History and Financial Crises: Lessons from the 20th Century.? New York: Routledge, 2013. x + 138 pp. $140 (cloth), ISBN: 978-0-415-62297-4. Reviewed for EH.Net by Jon Moen, Department of Economics, University of Mississippi. This book is a collection of six papers that were originally […]