Questions tagged [economy]

Questions which concern the historical management, distribution, and usage of resources; why a particular resource, or state of production, occurred in a certain way. General economics questions are off-topic but may be welcome on our sister site Economics Stack Exchange.

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Why were some German and Japanese Cities bombed more than others during WW2? Is there a scientific consensus?

I'm trying to study the long-run effects the strategic bombing of German and Japanese cities had on urban and economic development. Reading some articles about it I get contradictory information about ...
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What was the wealth distribution in US antebellum North / South

My question relates to the following quote from chapter XI of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: I had very strangely supposed, while in slavery, that few of the comforts, and ...
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What caused the stagnation in real wage growth in the later half of the 20th century?

During that time, U.S. per capita GDP grew briskly, "average" (mean wages) grew slowly, and "median" wages grew hardly at all. What reasons do economists cite for the differences ...
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What was the expected retirement age for men in Spain in 1936?

I am trying to find out what the expected age of retirement was for men in Spain in 1936. I tried searching the Internet but the results I found were for recent years and not time past.
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Does city-specific economic data for the pre-WW2 decades exist for Japan and Germany? How do I find out?

I'd like to the an analysis using historical economic data of Japan and Germany. For that I'm trying to figure out, if data exists from before 1945 of economic production in different japanese and ...
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What are the 'mushroom trusts' referenced in Churchill's "Second World War"?

It is in a section where he is referring to the collapse of the German economy during and after hyperinflation… p.10 The Gathering Storm – The Follies of the Victors 1919–1929 Here is the passage that ...
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5answers
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Was the financial crash of 2008 caused by top graduates of the American Ivy Leagues working at wall street banks?

From this article by Lisandro 'Leloy' Claudio, a Philippine/a Filipino professor of history, politics, South & Southeast Asian Studies (and not necessarily of finance, economics, mathematics or ...
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Did the world suffer a general economic decline in 1870?

Last year the World Bank reported that : According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% this year. That would represent the deepest recession since the Second World War, ...
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How many labor hours were required to build wooden sailing ships? [closed]

I'm trying to find out how many hours of labor it took to build wooden sailing ships. (Obviously it would depend on e.g. size, and the ideal result would be a formula or table relating such parameters ...
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What's going on with this graph of wheat prices in "Civilization and Capitalism"?

I've been reading through Fernand Braudel's Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century Vol I: The Structures of Everyday Life. On page 135, there's a graph of the price of a quintal of wheat in ...
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Were there any watermills within sailing distance of the sea?

Watermills were widely used in times when river transport was even considerably more economically important than it is now. This sometimes led to conflict between these two uses of a river, e.g. The ...
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1answer
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Did countries use insurance to compensate for their economic losses after the Black Death/Spanish flu/Asian flu? [closed]

The first insurance contracts as we know them today appeared between the 12th and 13th centuries in Italy. The Florentine chronicler Giovani Villani asserts that insurance originated in Lombardy in ...
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What was the nature of a widow's personal estate in Colonial America?

In books that discuss figures in Colonial America and early American history (and I believe more broadly throughout contemporaneous European history), it is relatively common to see discussions of ...
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How long did it take to make a woolen sweater?

In premodern times, in temperate or colder climates, clothing was orders of magnitude more expensive than today and textile production made up a large percentage of total economic activity. I'm ...
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Was the post-WW2 form of globalisation a historical abberation? [closed]

I was discussing this with a friend and while I argued that globalisation (in the form of transportation of goods, people, knowledge and technology) existed since the early 17th century,he rebutted by ...
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Which is the oldest, still current, government debt?

(Not sure if this belongs to politics or history). Which is the oldest, still current, government debt? The answer of course depends on definitions since debts usually are "rolled over" at ...
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Was the tariff that Alexander Hamilton wanted to create (in his Financial Plan) ever put into action by Hamilton?

Hamilton's Financial plan had 3 parts: The U.S. government would pay all debts The U.S. government would create a national bank The U.S. government would impose a high tax on imported goods (tariff) ...
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Is there validity to the claim of a scavenger hunting barter economy in the history of money?

I've read in economics textbooks, and seen in videos like this, saying that before money, there was a barter economy was based on a coincidence of wants, and people would have to go on basically a ...
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What did people used to exchange for goods during the 1920s German hyperinflation while the official currency was not trusted

When the 1920s hyperinflation happened, it seemed that the rapid currency devolution is not too hard to see. This must result in the people who own and sell goods distrust the future of the currency; ...
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Why didn't Louis XVI print money prior to the French revolution?

I'm currently reading "Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution" by Simon Schama. It is an ok book. There is a lot of divergence into the culture leading up to the revolution, which ...
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202 views

In a medieval city how large a market was needed relative to population? [closed]

In a large medieval city fed by the agricultural product of the area, plus imports such as grains, spices, fish, etc. and also serving as a regional hub for the exchange of trade goods, what ...
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Was the US dollar, the Soviet reserve currency too?

Was the Soviet rouble also backed by the US dollar, which was the global reserve currency at the time? I remember reading something about Soviets taking aid from the US, in the 1970s, after Soviet ...
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Are the coal mining revenue provided in the "Gentleman Jack" realistic for 1830s?

The "Gentleman Jack" series is based on the diaries of Anne Lister - a XIX century woman, often declared as "first modern lesbian" (the "gentleman" is apparently a slur, ...
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Why did Mao use political mobilization to prevent inefficiency and slack? [closed]

China just followed the Soviet Union model and inevitably encountered the same problems that socialist countries all suffered in the 1950s and 1960s. That is the lack of incentives of people and the ...
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Was there a Norse custom of "one keeps what one defends"?

Watching a Viking TV series this cropped up where a farmer was challenged to fight for his farm. It appears that the Norse did not have title deeds but rather relied on the sword to settle ownership ...
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How much did a sword cost in AD 1000 Constantinople?

Qualifications: Obviously, swords vary in quality. Ideally, I would like to know what a standard army issue sword would have cost, if I bought it privately. But I realised we may only be able to ...
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Can it be justified that an economic contraction of 11.3% is "the largest fall for more than 300 years"?

Today the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said "The OBR forecast the economy will contract this year by 11.3%, the largest fall in output for more than 300 years." This seems to me to be a very ...
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Are there post-1700 examples of large scale long term reductions in living standards? [closed]

I am looking for examples where an old person could talk of the 'good old times' and these were objectively better than the current times. Large scale meaning it affected not just individuals or a ...
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Has there ever been a case where a country adopted the currency of another country with a smaller economy?

Sometimes sovereign nations abandon their currencies (partially or fully) and adopt the currency of another state. For example, the currency of El Salvador was replaced by the United States dollar in ...
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Why is the Amazon rubber boom said to have started in 1879?

According to Amazon Rubber Boom From the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, rubber began to exert a strong attraction to visionary entrepreneurs. The activity of latex extraction in ...
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Why did Burgers' Transvaal try to build rail east?

According to shanskraal, [Thomas Burgers, president of the Transvaal Republic] considered a railway link with the non-British port of Delagoa Bay (Maputo) as essential for the economic survival of ...
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What factors accounted for the pattern of caranvanserai across Eurasia? [closed]

This is a question we had in an AP World History test last week: I was able to answer (c) correctly (improvements in sea navigation and technology caused more and more people to transition from land-...
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What determines whether slavery is economically efficient in industrialized/modern era economies?

Various forms of slavery were nearly universal before the industrial revolution. After industrialization, it would naively seem forced labor would continue to be widespread, as there is no way to ...
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How did different asset classes perform during the Weimar hyperinflation?

I read many years ago a story about someone in Germany in the 1920s who had been tipped a US dollar immediately seeking investment advice presumably because it was so valuable. Now, this did not make ...
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Why did the USSR have two sources of currency?

An inscription on the 1, 3, and 5 rubles notes says that it is a State Treasury Note (Государственный Казначейский Билет), and that it is guaranteed by the entire property of the Union of SSR (...
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What is the oldest example of complaints against wealth being due to closeness to the ruler?

Consider the sentence “The king is the one at whose side wealth walks”. It is taken from the Babylonian Theodicy, a poem which was written somewhere between 1500 B.C. and 1100 B.C. and which is ...
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When was the last time the US had the highest GDP per capita?

I never associated the United States with the label of the richest country in the world so it greatly surprised me that according to some estimates there was a time when the U.S. had the highest ...
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Did Helsinki have higher standards of living than Saint Petersburg when it was a part of the Russian Empire?

For over a century Finland was a part of the Russian Empire. It seems that overall Finland was significantly richer than Russia proper in the early XX century (look at these estimates). Was Helsinki ...
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What are some good references for the history of legal business entities? [closed]

I'm looking for books and articles that can elucidate how different legal business entities and types of corporate personhood came to be. I've already found the book “The Company: A Short History of a ...
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What percentage of the German population worked on gathering the harvest in 1917?

It is a well-known fact that Germany suffered from food shortage during World War I, and that there were several causes of this, including in no particular order: The blockade restricting food ...
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How did mid-19th century American legislation affect the corporate structure of railroad companies?

It is my understanding that a part of the complexity that the Standard Oil Company built up was due to the nature of US corporate legislation (while, of course, the rest was that they wanted to hide ...
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Was a drop in standards of living a significant factor in the revolutions of 1848?

A lot ink has been expended discussing the revolutions of 1848 and their causes, only a small fraction of which I have read. From my point of view, there seem to be two main schools of thought in ...
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359 views

Can we meaningfully compare the poverty levels in the USSR to those in the USA at the same time and to those in the USA today? [closed]

I was told (by people who had lived there) that the USSR had homeless people but I would guess that the levels of homelessness were much lower and in general there were far fewer desperate people due ...
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What is the oldest "commercial logo" known? [closed]

I'm writing a paper on logos, iconography and different forms of identifications for trade activities. The paper starts with history of logos, which is pretty easy and known. However, I'm wondering: ...
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Are there historical statistics about the number of market towns?

As a way to understand changes in the middle ages, I want to know the development of market towns. Particularly, I am looking for the increase in their number, organised by country and period (e.g. ...
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Why did the Lindman government choose to resign over their agricultural program?

Why did the Lindman government choose to resign over their agricultural program? Did (members of) the government expound on why they chose to take the agricultural program as a matter of confidence ...
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Are there historical problems of wealth/income inequality causing problems for empires? [closed]

I was talking to a friend who said that empires rose and fell upon wealth/income inequality. He cited the Mongols as reducing wealth inequality and the fall of Rome as increasing the inequality. It ...
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How did the Hansa organize river trade in the 14th and 15th centuries?

How did the Hansa accommodate the transition from sea to river trade along a trade route? Would river travel have been controlled by one group of people, e.g., Guild of the River Oder Merchants? Would ...
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What is Charles Babbage referring to when he talks about the 'College of Laputa'?

In On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, what is Charles Babbage referring to when talking about the College of Laputa in the following extract: ...Nor has the wild imagination of the ...
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1answer
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Was there a contemporary understanding that 1706 was an exceptionally poor year?

This relates to the numerous (British) news items which seem to have overnight turned the present virus-induced economic downturn into a 'historic downturn'. While there are opinion-based aspects that ...

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