September 28, 2003
Petra Moser Wins the Gerschenkron Prize

And the New York Times has a story about her dissertation: A Stroll Through Patent History: CAN a theoretical stroll through the Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851 in London -- at which thousands of inventions from -- tell us something about the nature of innovation today? Petra Moser, now an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, took exactly such a stroll -- in the form of a Ph.D. thesis -- and has come up with some surprising conclusions that are attracting the attention of fellow scholars. This month the Economic History Association awarded her a dissertation prize at its annual meeting.... One of Professor Moser's conclusions is that developing countries like India, which is scheduled to come into full compliance with an international patent treaty in 2005, may be better off without strong patent laws.... Professor Moser concludes what was good for America and Britain in the 19th century is not necessarily good for emerging, largely rural economies in countries like Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland.......

Posted by DeLong at 08:27 PM

May 14, 2003
Notes: Chiaki Moriguchi: Last Economic History Seminar: "Did American Firms Break Their Welfare Capitalist Promises During the Great Depression?"

Chiaki Moriguchi from Northwestern. Here to talk about welfare capitalism--or maybe better to call it corporate welfarism--in the U.S. in the 1920 and 1930s. Vibrant, growing movement in the 1920s: corporations to provide social welfare benefits that the state would have provided in Europe. Collapse in the 1930s. Corporations wanted to cut costs, and with unemployment so high why bother on programs to attach workers to the firm? Loss of trust thereafter hard to regain--workers turned to CIO instead to negotiate for benefits, et cetera. Did the NLRA foreclose a return of corporate welfarism? Survival in high-wage high-skill firms: IBM, GE, Proctor and Gamble. Foreshadowing of modern HRM for skilled high-wage workers? Chiaki approaches the topic from a perspective that treats Japan--not the U.S., not western Europe--as the typical case. Very refreshing and instructive approach: to presume that welfare capitalism and company unions a la post-WWII Japan should be the rule in mass-production high-skill manufacturing, and to search for explanations for American divergence from the "natural" pattern... Great, great topic!...

Posted by DeLong at 05:22 PM

May 07, 2003
Notes: Alexander Gerschenkron

Recommended by Rebecca Hellerstein... Nicholas Dawidoff (2002), The Fly Swatter: How My Grandfather Made His Way in the World (New York: Pantheon: 0375400273). Alexander Gerschenkron p. 10: ... someone who was going to grow up to be a person of true principle would get that way by proving his loyalty to small things, like the Boston Red Sox. I was cautioned never to blame the umpire for the many disappointments suffered by the Red Sox. My grandfather wanted me to feel that a person creates his own luck. Although he accredited fate, felt that fate--like God--was immutable, he also seemed to find it oddly beside the point and believed that a man stood a better chance in life if he ran out every routine ground ball to second base. "Nicky boy, you never know," was one of his prized phrases... p. 34: ... To a very real degree, Shura was raised on an ecumenical creed with tenets best expressed by Pushkin in his poem "I Built a Monument Not Made by Hands"--the last verse in particular: "Long will be remembered by the nation That of the good in men's hearts I did speak-- That I praised freedom in this age...

Posted by DeLong at 07:39 PM

July 01, 1989
J. Bradford DeLong (1989), "The `Protestant Ethic' Revisited: A Twentieth-Century Look," Fletcher Forum 13: 2 (Summer), pp. 229-242.

J. Bradford DeLong (1989), "The `Protestant Ethic' Revisited: A Twentieth-Century Look," Fletcher Forum 13: 2 (Summer), pp. 229-242....

Posted by DeLong at 01:59 PM

J. Bradford DeLong (1989), "Nassau Senior's `Last Hour' and the `Advances' Conception of Capital Revisited," History of Political Economy 21: 2 (Summer), pp. 309-310.

J. Bradford DeLong (1989), "Nassau Senior's `Last Hour' and the `Advances' Conception of Capital Revisited," History of Political Economy 21: 2 (Summer), pp. 309-310....

Posted by DeLong at 01:46 PM

September 01, 1987
J. Bradford DeLong (1987), "Review of N.F.R. Crafts, British Economic Growth during the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Economic History 47:3 (September), pp. 790-792.

J. Bradford DeLong (1987), "Review of N.F.R. Crafts, British Economic Growth during the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Economic History 47:3 (September), pp. 790-792....

Posted by DeLong at 11:39 AM

J. Bradford DeLong (1987), "Review of Bernard Elbaum and William Lazonick, The Decline of the British Economy," Journal of Economic History 47:3 (September), pp. 792-795.

J. Bradford DeLong (1987), "Review of Bernard Elbaum and William Lazonick, The Decline of the British Economy," Journal of Economic History 47:3 (September), pp. 792-795....

Posted by DeLong at 11:37 AM

August 01, 1986
J. Bradford DeLong (1986), "Senior's `Last Hour': A Suggested Resolution of a Famous Blunder," History of Political Economy 18: 2 (Summer), pp. 325-333.

J. Bradford DeLong (1986), "Senior's `Last Hour': A Suggested Resolution of a Famous Blunder," History of Political Economy 18: 2 (Summer), pp. 325-333....

Posted by DeLong at 08:14 AM