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Atlanta Marriott Marquis, L503
Economic History Association
Networks, Markets, and Economic Performance
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM
- Chair: Michael Haupert, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
The rise of coffee in the Brazilian southeast: agricultural efficiency vs. foreign market potential, 1827-1840
AbstractDuring the period spanning independence in 1822 to mid-century, Brazil’s southeast shifted from specializing in the export of cane sugar to coffee. This paper explores the mechanism underlying this shift by exploiting a new monthly database of international prices and exports from Rio de Janeiro. While the direction of the southeast’s export specialization was determined by relative agricultural efficiency, the timing of the boom was driven by a rapid increase in the foreign market potential of coffee. The abolition of tariffs on coffee in the United States and the subsequent increase in import demand, together with the relatively limited market access for sugar, generated price signals in the local market that incentivized producers to switch to coffee. The subsequent export boom converted Brazil into the principal world coffee supplier during the nineteenth century.
Who Benefited from Industrialization? The Local Effects of Hydropower Technology Adoption
AbstractThis paper studies the impact of the construction of hydropower facilities on labor market outcomes in Norway at the turn of the twentieth century (1891-1920). The sudden breakthrough in hydropower technology provides a quasi-experimental setting, as not all municipalities had suitable natural endowments and the possible production sites where often located in remote areas. We find that hydropower municipalities experienced faster structural transformation and displayed higher occupational mobility. Unskilled workers and workers from low-status families did to a greater extent obtain skilled jobs in hydropower municipalities. We interpret this as evidence that this early twentieth-century technology was skill-biased, and that workers in the new skilled jobs were recruited from a broad segment of the population. However, areas affected by the new technology also experienced occupational polarization, with an increase in high- and low-skilled manual jobs at the expense of intermediate-skilled jobs.
Eastern Washington University
George Washington University
- N5 - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment, and Extractive Industries
- N7 - Transport, Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services