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Keywords:economic history 

Working Paper
The Effect of Fertility on Mothers’ Labor Supply over the Last Two Centuries

This paper documents the evolving impact of childbearing on the work activity of mothers. Based on a compiled dataset of 441 censuses and surveys between 1787 and 2015, representing 103 countries and 48.4 million mothers, we document three main findings: (1) the effect of fertility on labor supply is small and typically indistinguishable from zero at low levels of development and economically large and negative at higher levels of development; (2) this negative gradient is remarkably consistent across histories of currently developed countries and contemporary cross-sections of countries; and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-14

Working Paper
Slow capital, fast prices: Shocks to funding liquidity and stock price reversals

A V-shaped price pattern is often observed in financial markets - in response to a negative shock, prices fall "too far" before reversing course. This paper looks at one particular channel of such patterns: the link between a liquidity provider's balance sheet and asset prices. I examine a well-identified historical case study where a large exogenous shock to a liquidity provider's balance sheet resulted in severe capital constraints. Using evidence from German universal banks, who acted as market makers for selected stocks in the interwar period, I show in a difference-in-differences ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-43

Working Paper
A margin call gone wrong: Credit, stock prices, and Germany's Black Friday 1927

Leverage is often seen as villain in financial crises. Sudden deleveraging may lead to fire sales and price pressure when asset demand is downward-sloping. This paper looks at the effects of changes in leverage on asset prices. It provides a historical case study where a large, well-identified shock to margin credit disrupted the German stock market. In May 1927, the German central bank forced banks to cut margin lending to their clients. However, this shock affected banks differentially; the magnitude of credit change differed across banks. Using the strong connections between banks and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-54

Journal Article
The political origins of Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act

At the height of the financial crisis of 2007-09, the Federal Reserve conducted emergency lending under authority granted to it in the third paragraph of Section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act. This article explores the political and legislative origins of the section, focusing on why Congress chose to endow the central bank with such an authority. The author describes how in the initial passage of the act in 1913, Congress demonstrated its steadfast commitment to the ?real bills? doctrine in two interrelated ways: 1) by limiting what assets the Fed could purchase, discount, and use as ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue 24-1 , Pages 1-33

Working Paper
Current Federal Reserve Policy Under the Lens of Economic History: A Review Essay

This review essay is intended as a critical review of Humpage (2015), and it expands on the issues raised in that volume. Federal Reserve Policy during the financial crisis, and in its aftermath are addressed, along with the relationship to historical experience in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.
Working Papers , Paper 2015-15

Journal Article
The Rise and Decline of Petersburg, Va.

Early Virginians looked at Petersburg, with its location on the Appomattox River, as a town of economic vibrancy and promise. Incorporated in 1748 by the Virginia General Assembly, the town fulfilled that early promise and grew to become the commonwealth's third independent city in 1850. But turmoil as well as prosperity for Petersburg were ahead. {{p}} Throughout its 270 years, three factors have dominated Petersburg's economic history: tobacco, trade, and transportation. The city's early economic prominence was due to its tobacco plantations and warehouses as well as various mills powered ...
Econ Focus , Issue 4Q , Pages 28-32

Journal Article
When Banking Was 'Free'

From 1837 until the Civil War, currency issuance and banking were left to the states. Can this era offer lessons for today's cryptocurrency boom?
Econ Focus , Issue 1Q , Pages 28-30

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