Stephen Jackson

We welcome Stephen Jackson in the team. He will stay for June and July 2019, and will work in the beginning on a new 200 category classification of merchandises based on the documents from the Revolution and the Empire. A short self-presentation follows.

After spending three years at the University of Warwick studying economics at undergraduate level, I decided to move back to France and follow up my bachelor’s degree with a master’s in development economics at Panthéon-Sorbonne University (Paris I). 

The research-oriented nature of postgraduate study makes experiences in the field of academia all the more valuable. Joining the project as an intern is an opportunity to further explore an area of economics that has always interested me while experiencing first-hand what it takes to be engaged in research at the forefront of the discipline. 

I’ll be joining the TOFLIT18 project for two months over the summer of 2019. My tasks as part of the team include elaborating a new classification of products based on earlier simplification work as well as harmonisation of data in the early years of Revolutionary France to address potential shifts in classification methodology and reporting.

Although economic history has always featured prominently in my choice of courses at university, this internship also represents a step into the unknown. Working with such a large collection of data and facing the challenges tied to historical records is something new and fascinating for me. In my short time on board, I hope I can contribute to the large body of work that has been carried out so far and pave the way for future use of the dataset.

Publication: comparing STRO and TOFLIT18

Loïc Charles and Guillaume Daudin «Cross-checking STRO with the French Balance du Commerce data», in Jan Willem Veluwenkamp & Werner Scheltjens (Ed.), Early Modern Shipping and Trade : Novel Approaches Using Sound Toll Registers Online (pp. 133-150). Boston & Leiden: Brill (2018)

        Abstract

 This chapter looks at trade between France and Northern Europe as reported by the Sound Toll Register Database  and the French Balance of Trade  statistics from 1750 to 1789.

Although these two sets of data are quite different, we developed a common methodology to analyse comparatively both datasets in order to better understand the nature of the information they contain and to assess how to use them.

Our results are: the comparison of the flows registered in physical quantities and in the  number of cargoes by the STRO and the French data registered in values is disappointing. Conversely, the Sound Toll Registers tax indicator is a reasonable proxy for the French data; Norway accounts for a significant part of French imports from Denmark, but it is not the case for French exports to the same country; French exports to each of the Baltic countries share a similar structure and are dominated by wine and colonial goods, there is a strong differentiation of French imports as Swedish exports are made almost exclusively of iron and its derivatives and Danish exports are made mostly of wood and to a lesser extent of European foodstuff, while Russian exports are dominated by primary goods.

    Keywords : 

Trade Statistics ; Sound ; France ; Eighteenth Century ; Baltic Trade ; Scandinavia ; Russia

 

 

 

Published information on the Balance du Commerce source

«France, c. 1716- c.1821» with Loïc Charles, Revue de l’OFCE: Observations et diagnostics économiques, July, n°140, p. 237-248, 2015 https://doi.org/10.3917/reof.140.0237 

«La collecte du chiffre au xviiie siècle: Le Bureau de la Balance du Commerce et la production de données sur le commerce extérieur de la France», with Loïc Charles,  Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, vol. 58, n°1, p. 128-155, 2011  https://doi.org/10.3917/rhmc.581.0128 

The way we treat quantity units (as of February 26th 2018)

The retranscribed variable is « quantity_unit » (1,538 different values).

 Orthographic Normalization

The file « Units_Normalisation_Orthographique.dta » establishes a correspondance between the variable « quantity_unit » and the variable « quantity_unit_ortho » (701 values). 210,000 observations have « livres » in « quantity_unit_ortho » and 160,000 have « unité manquante » (out of 510,000).

Simplification and single-key conversion

The file « Units_Normalisation_Métrique1 » establishes a correspondance between the variable « quantity_unit_ortho » and either
– 1. the variables « quantity_unit_ajustees » (simplifying the « quantity_unit_ortho »), « u_conv » (a metric unit of quantity) and « q_conv » (the number of u_conv in « quantity_unit_ortho »). e.g. « quantity_unit_orth » « douzaine de paires » has « douzaine de paires » as « quantity_unit_ajustees », « pièce » as u_conv and « 24 » as « q_conv ».
– 2. a variable « needs_more_details » which indicate that we cannot know the metric equivalent without using more variables.

Simplification and Multi-key conversion

The file « Units_Normalisation_Métrique2 » establishes a correspondance between :
exportsimports + pays_grouping + direction + marchandises_simplification + quantity_unit_ortho and « quantity_unit_ajustees » (simplifying the « quantity_unit_ortho »), « u_conv » (a metric unit of quantity) and « q_conv » (the number of u_conv in « quantity_unit_ortho »).

Pierre Hollegien, Reinterpreting The Colonial Trade: France, Sugar and Dutch Disease

Pierre Hollegien was an intern in the TOFLIT project from in 2015. He then produced some very interesting work on drug trade.

He then went and did a MSc in the London School of Economics where he produced a research paper on « Reinterpreting The Colonial Trade: France, Sugar and Dutch Disease ».

Here it is:

Hollegien – EH499-Candidate_number_15129

December 19th 2017 meeting

Attending members : Loïc Charles, Béatrice Dedinger, Guillaume Daudin, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique, Elisa Tirindelli

# Budget
SciencesPo has an extra 800 € that will be used to hire and additional day from Alexis Jacomy.
We discuss the transfer of money from INED to SciencesPo.

# Aggregation python script
There is now a documentation a documentation on github, but it needs to be completed (https://github.com/medialab/toflit18_data/blob/prod/scripts/README.md)

# Datascape
We discuss how the datascape has advanced. Alexis will still work on it and Guillaume and Loïc need to add a bit of documentation / texts.
We will continue this work in January 2018.

# Ricardo
We discuss the new version of Ricardo

That was the last official TOFLIT18 meeting ! Thank you to all who contributed (and will continue contributing…)

Transformations of the french economy through the lens of international trade, 1716-1821

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