Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (CST)
- Chair: Wouter Ryckbosch, Free University of Brussels
American Relief and the Soviet Famine of 1921-22
AbstractThis paper explores the efficiency of one of the first mass-scale international aid policies - American relief to Soviet Russia suffering from the 1921-22 famine. From archival and published sources, we construct a large novel panel dataset and document several new facts. We show that the famine resulted from the combination of grain requisitions during the War Communism and the severe drought and the resulting harvest failure in 1921. We further show that despite Soviet interference and infrastructural difficulties, the American Relief Administration (ARA) managed to distribute the relief based on the severity of the famine, with provinces that collected smaller harvests receiving more food. As a result, birth cohorts from the time window around the famine were more likely to survive in the provinces where the ARA fed more people. To establish a causal effect of American aid on survival, we rely on the arguably exogenous variation in grain shipments to Soviet ports and the location of the first ARA headquarters in the suffering region. Our analysis shows how effective international aid can be when it is not captured by local elites.
Shipping Times in the Mediterranean since 1760
AbstractTechnological progress during the late 18th century was crucial to the Industrial Revolution, and while the literature has extensively highlighted key areas of improvement, such as cotton spinning, iron making, and the steam engine, other fields have received less attention. This raises the question of whether innovation and the Industrial Revolution spread through other channels beyond the conventional ones. In this paper, we investigate, for the first time, the productivity improvements in shipping and how they occurred in the Mediterranean.
All at Work? Tracing Patterns of Irregular Labour in Industrializing Belgium (1700-1860)
AbstractThis paper aims to study the role of irregular or casual labour in the expansion of industrial production in 18th- and 19th-century Belgium. Important questions in economic history crucially hinge on understanding changes in the supply and nature of work during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Anachronistic conceptions of male breadwinners and a reliance on quantifiable census data, have long led historians to focus primarily on adult male occupational titles and wages. In recent decades newer research has shown how important changes occurred also in the informal sphere of unpaid, domestic work carried, as well as in the area of irregular, casual and informal labour carried out by men, women and children alike. Although most historians would now recognize this insight, quantifying the contribution and effect of changes in irregular labour before and during the industrial revolution has proven largely elusive. Drawing on an extensive dataset of thousands of witness depositions recorded between 1700 and 1860, this article seeks to trace changes in the work â€“ both regular and irregular, formal and informal â€“ carried out by women, men and children in Belgium during a period of economic decline and subsequent expansion. Understanding the dynamics of irregular labour in a region where most urban labour remained strongly regulated by guilds, will provide insight into the relationship between industrialisation and the transformation of work, as well as more specifically in the history of the relationship between patriarchal social relations and capitalism.
- N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
- N4 - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation