Journal of European Economic History - 2017 issue 2

Volume XLVI

Bancaria Editrice
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Financial Markets Facing Apocalypse in World War II
This paper quantifies the impact of apocalyptic risk on capital markets, drawing on events in four countries during the Second World War: the republics of Poland and France, whose systems failed during the period in question, and the United Kingdom and Sweden, which survived politically, economically and financially. We closely link public information to markets’ incorporation of information regarding the probability of an Armageddon for each country. In contrast to past studies, our analysis shows that the stock markets of two of the countries in question – Poland and France – displayed limited ability to reflect the mortal danger to their sovereignty. The behavior of the other two countries’ stock markets appears to reflect some “learning” regarding the implications of systemic political failure.
The 2007-2009 Subprime Crisis and the Global Public Policy Response
In this article, we look at the root causes of the 2007-2009 subprime financial crisis in the United States and the ensuing global economic crisis. We then examine how public authorities in advanced economies responded to the crisis. We emphasize that, from the very start, public policy developed along two complementary but distinct lines of intervention: (i) short-term macroeconomic management, and (ii) medium- to long-term reshaping of the financial regulatory framework. We find that the two sub-sets of policies were pursued at the global level and not simply at the national and/or regional level. Finally, we summarize the main risks that emerged as a consequence of the macroeconomic policy response to the crisis, namely high volumes of public debt, an uncertain inflation outlook and the possible development of bubbles in some asset markets.
New Estimates of Time Use in Sweden 1950-2012
The official statistics on GDP and the labour market exclude unpaid domestic services. Yet there are good theoretical reasons why historians should study unpaid work. This paper reconstructs annual estimates of time use in Sweden from 1950 to 2012 among women and men. It finds substantial convergence between the genders in time use from the 1960s to the early 1980s. During the period of inquiry, the gender difference in total working time vanished. The double burden for women did not increase when they entered the labour market. The reduction in the time women spent on unpaid work is explained about equally by the shortening of the total amount of unpaid work and by increasing male participation in household chores. In 1950-1963, the reduction was explained mainly by the decline in the making and mending of clothes at home and the spread of domestic appliances. In the 1963–1984 period, instead, it was due chiefly to men’s greater participation in household work. These mechanisms were largely historically contingent, suggesting that it is impossible to single out just one factor to explain why Sweden today has less gender inequality than other countries.
John Haldon’s The Empire That Would Not Die: A Symposium
Editors’ Introductory Note
John Haldon, who teaches history at Princeton University, has produced an accomplished and admirable book. Not only has The Empire That Would Not Die: The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640-740 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. - London, 2016) attracted the attention of the community of specialists in the field of Late Antiquity, but it has also gained a wider audience among historians and social scientists with their own distinct ‘take’ on key issues that have engaged scholars for decades.
The Political Economy of Survival: The Eastern Roman Empire’s Transition to the Early Middle Ages
The scholarly literature is rife with studies asking why empires collapse. The majority of these works endeavour to explain how competitive exogenous pressures or internal challenges to the predominant power of the dominant group, or a combination of both, create the conditions and opportunities that are sufficient for the substitution of the ruling class ...
Identity as Ideology in the Empire that Would Not Die
on John Haldon’s latest book on what the author, quite to the point, has called the paradox of East Roman survival in the period between the 640s and the 740s.1 Almost twenty years after his classical study on the transformation of Byzantine culture in the long seventh century,2 Haldon has revisited this important period of Byzantine history seeking to answer a different but equally important question, namely how did the Empire manage to overcome one of the major crises in its long existence, the crisis triggered by the emergence and expansion of the Islamic Caliphate ...
The End of an Era? The Impact of Early Islamic Expansion on Economic and Social Structures in the Byzantine East
The Arab conquest of the North African provinces and of the East meant a huge financial loss for the Byzantine Empire. The power balance seemed to shift in favor of the Caliphate. John Haldon, in The Empire That Would Not Die, emphasizes that the Byzantine Empire did resist, albeit within new more limited boundaries, because of the political and social transformations it underwent in the seventh century.
The “Empire That Would Not Die” Looks West
The theme of John Haldon’s volume concerns the reasons why the Eastern Roman Empire did not fall during the 7th century despite the substantial territorial losses it suffered with the Muslim expansion. In posing this question – why did the Empire survive? – the author revisits the history of the entire 7th century, in substantial continuity with his 1990 monograph,1 but enriching it with new ideas (climatology, palynology, more attention to the Byzantine West) and sometimes proposing different approaches than in the past to some very problematic issues...
Killing “Empire”: Goldilocks and the Three Byzantine Kommerkiarioi
The much-debated middle Byzantine officials called kommerkiarioi play a central role in John Haldon’s reconstruction of the vicissitudes of “the Empire that would not die”. They are in reality the main subject of chapter 7 and are ubiquitous throughout the book, and crucially in its conclusions, from which a quote in particular deserves to be reported in extenso ...
Bibliography of the Symposium
Gilbert Buti, Philippe Hrodej
Histoire des pirates et des corsaires. De l’Antiquité à nos jours 181
Fabrizio Filioli Uranio

Piero Craveri
L’arte del non governo. L’inesorabile declino della Repubblica italiana 185
Tiziano Torresi

José Carlos Vilardaga
São Paulo no Império dos Felipes: conexões na América Meridional (1580-1640) 187
Simona Costa