June 28th 2017 Meeting

Attending : Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique, Matthias Loise, Maëlle Stricot, Anthony Rebours, Florence Perret

# Pierre Gervais (and Guillaume Plique)’s paper :
P. Gervais’s idea is to check two hypotheses:
– The number of simplified categories is related to the quantity/value exchanged: the more important a product, the more diversifed his depiction.
– The concentration of a product in a specific harbor is in correlation with the level of simplification: the more concentration, the higher the degree of simplification.
To write this paper, Pierre Gervais is going to use the datascape. He wants to verify these hypotheses on a panel of four or five destinations and study the six French harbors with two variables:
The size of the simplification’s group
The exchanged values

# Archiving meeting:
G. Daudin and M. Loise met with Cynthia Pedroja (in charge with the data’s’ management: diffusion, access, exchange) and Olesea Dubois (in charge of the digitalization and long-term archiving, working with the CINES) from Sciences Po’s library met to discuss how to organizing the storage and the availability of the data in June 21st.
SciencesPo’s library has accepted to work with us document the data before storage in their new dataverse. Among the tasks are :
– making a list of the files (Cynthia Pedroja offered to do it)
– make a list of the variables (ML)
– make a graph of the structure of the relational database (ML)
– document the data according to the dataverse requirements (CP)
– document the datascape (ML will do it)
Texte meeting is on July 5th

# Checking the transcription:
Matthias has done a lot already. Maëlle will calculate the price indices and work on the evolution of the terms of trade.

# Next ANR?
Guillaume will go in Poitier on July 10th to discuss an ANR between La Rochelle, Nice and, maybe, Paris. They might be interested discussing research and pedagogical visualizations of navigation and trade 18th century data.
This could be the occasion for the Medialab to hire someone 6-12 month to continue working on the datascape.

# Conference in October:
We had 22 submissions. The scientific committee has been asked to help us make a choice of 11.

# Sources :
– Florence is going to check the documentation on Britanny in the Bibliothèque de l’Institut, we might already have these data.
– She will also check archives in Narbonne and Dax, a table from the National Archives, and a page from Rouen which was missing from the digitalization the archives provided.
– Elizabeth Cross, who wrote a thesis on the East Indies, is going to give us some data.

# Robin
We discuss how Robin could help us with the design latter in the year

# Guillaume Plique
Guillaume, Guillaume and Paul discuss the development of the datascape (see Trello)

# Next meetings :
Paul G., Guillaume P. and Guillaume D.: August 29th, 15:30
General meeting: September 12th or 13th, 9:30

Ellen M. Nye

We welcome the use of the TOFIT18 data by Ellen M. Nye.

She is a first-year history PhD student studying Ottoman and British economic history at Yale University under the supervision of Steve Pincus and Alan Mikhail. She is eager to learn about the broader trends in the French economy TOFLIT18  will expose.

She is going to use the Franco-Ottoman trade from 1785-1821 to work on a paper seminar paper on cotton textile trade and production in the Ottoman market during the Napoleonic wars. For this project, she am comparing trade statistics to indicators of Ottoman cotton textile production. For French trade, she is currently relaying on Alexandre Chabert’s Essai sur les mouvements des prix et des revenus en France de 1798 à 1820, which provides information on the total volume of Franco-Ottoman trade but does not provide information on the trade broken down by commodity or volume. TOFLIT  would provide much more granular information.


Nye CV




Maëlle Stricot

C’est avec plaisir que nous accueillons Maëlle Stricot  qui sera stagiaire pendant un mois dans l’équipe. Elle sera notamment chargée d’effectuer des études d’indices de prix.

“Actuellement étudiante au sein du Cycle Pluridisciplinaire d’Etudes Supérieures, cursus mis en place par le pôle Paris Sciences et Lettres, et m’apprêtant à entrer en troisième année de licence d’économie à l’Université Paris-Dauphine, j’ai intégré le projet TOFLIT18 le 26 juin 2017 dans le cadre d’un stage d’une durée d’un mois.

Avant le début de ce stage, j’ai assisté aux deux jours du colloque portant sur « Turgot : mondialisation, sciences et économie au siècle des Lumières », donné sur le site des Archives Nationales à Pierrefitte, où j’ai pu rencontrer de nombreux chercheurs s’intéressant à l’économiste Turgot et à cette époque. Cette expérience a été très enrichissante, car en plus de pouvoir rencontrer plusieurs chercheurs prestigieux en histoire et en économie, cela m’a aussi permis de voir ce qui constituait l’une des facettes du métier de chercheur.

Ma participation au projet consiste à élaborer une analyse des indices de prix des différentes marchandises échangées au cours du 18ème siècle en m’appuyant sur la base de données existante. Ce travail est intéressant car il va me permettre d’avoir plus de connaissances sur le commerce et l’économie française de l’époque.

Ce stage représente pour moi une opportunité de découvrir en profondeur le monde de la recherche et de voir en quoi consiste exactement le travail de chercheur. Les missions dont je suis en charge sont aussi une occasion d’en apprendre davantage en économie et en statistiques, ce qui me sera sûrement très utile pour mes prochaines années d’études. Je pense que ce stage peut également me permettre d’affiner mon projet professionnel, en découvrant le monde de la recherche et en voyant s’il me correspond.”


Anthony Rebours

We are happy to welcome Anthony Rebours in the team ! He will do retranscriptions.

After graduating a Master Degree in history of economic thought at University Paris 8/Paris 1 La Sorbonne, Anthony is currently involved in research for his Phd thesis on the theme of the development of Krugman’s geographical economics. He also began to teach recent history of economic thought for undergraduate students at University of Tours François-Rabelais this year. As the studies in history of economic thought, including recent history, implies the use of various methodological approaches, Anthony is particularly interested in using quantitative data and archival works in his own researches.




Matthias Loise new tasks

After a 4 months internship for the TOFLIT18 project (which ended in March 2017), G. Daudin called Matthias back to work again with him for this project. He is joining again the TOFLIT team from May 22nd to August 4th.

Actually, he is working on some transcripts checking (from Nantes and Rennes).

After that, he will do some merchandise orthographic normalization and some tasks in order to update the merchandises index.

He will also do the same work that he has done during his internship on aberrant values and aberrant prices from the new sources.

In parallel, he will participate to the archiving of the TOFLIT18 project in collaboration with SciencesPo Paris.

June 1st 2017 Toflit meeting

Attending : Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Matthias Loise, Tristan Majou

Guillaume Plique

Guillaume was supposed to start working again for us on June 12th. An unexpected new procedure at the ANR means we need the greenlight of a committee that meets on June 16th.
His status at SciencesPo might change. If he gets a CDI, we will not be able to pay him anymore.

In his last batch of work, he did many «invisible things» with the datascape. He would like to move to more analytic tasks. We plan having him work on a research paper with Pierre Gervais.
We will ask Robin to give him a hand for the design/development.
On the other hand, we decide that making the datascape easier to use and more accessible cannot be the priority for the time being.

His new work schedule will be :
– From June 26th to July 9th (2 weeks) to finish the three trello cards that were initially planned in April.
– From August 28th to September 22nd : integrate Robin’s suggestions, the documentation, make the datascape public and maybe add new features. This will have to start with a brainstorming session to decide exactly what we want.

This will leave us with one week of salary : we must think about what we should do with it.

Matthias Loise and Florence Perret

We are very happy to have them back ! They will check the retranscriptions (both in a paleographic and automatic way), complete the term database, take pictures of the few remaining archives, etc.


A great part of the meeting is devoted to Ricardo issues

Next meeting

June 28th at 14.00 at the Medialab

April 20th 2017 Toflit meeting

April 20th 2017 Toflit meeting

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

1. Long-term conservation of the data
At the begining of the project, Adonis had offered to insure the long-term conservation of the data for 20 000 €. We decide to recontact them, or their successor organisation.

After a discussion with the CINES, it appears that everything will have to go through the Bibliothèque de SciencesPo.

The Bibliothèque de SciencesPo seems not to believe that the long-term storage of the data is warranted. They advise us to document it well and do multiple non-exclusive self-made saving dumps.

Loïc is going to contact David Schon on this subject as his project might be interested in helping us.

2. Budget
We discuss about the way to use the remaining Dauphine budget.

We decide to use it for the October meeting, additional retranscriptions (of the Levant trade and transport costs in the Montyon archives), IT material, and hiring of research assistants (not interns) to check the retranscriptions (both in a paleographic and automatic way), complete the term database, take pictures of the few remaining archives, etc.

3. We discuss how to check the retranscriptions in an efficient way.
It is difficult to do without a second, non-automatic look before an algorithmic one.
4. Next meeting
On June 1st, 9.30 at the medialab.

March 8th 2017 Toflit meeting


Attending : Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Paul Girard, Silvia Marzagalli, Guillaume Plique
1. Workshop Ricardo
We discuss the organisation of the Ricardo workshop in May. Guillaume and Paul suggest the use of gosoapbox and lots of post-its.
2. Simplification of goods / Integration of new data
We did not make progress

3. Price mistakes
Matthias has finished correcting price mistakes

4. Guillaume Plique planning
We confirm we have 16 weeks of funding. 2 have been used up. There are 2.5 weeks of holidays.
Next weeks :
April 10th, 17th and 24th. (3 weeks)
May 1st (1 week)
From Wednesday June 28th to Thursday July 13th (3.5 weeks)
Monday Septembre 4th to Friday September 29th (4 weeks)

Paul and Loïc discuss the organization of the fund transfer.

5. Octobre 2017 conference
We finalize the call for papers

Next meeting : April 20th at 9.30 at the Medialab meeting room 13, rue de l’Université in Sciences Po.

Call for papers : «International trade and the economy, 1600-1870» Paris (Université Paris-Dauphine), October 19th-20th 2017

Call for papers : «International trade and the economy, 1600-1870»

Paris (Université Paris-Dauphine), October 19th-20th 2017
ANR TOFLIT18, https://toflit18.hypotheses.org

External trade flows are the single macroeconomic data that early modern states have collected with the most care. The first attempts at measuring foreign trade can be dated from the early seventeenth century. Later on, several Italian states, such as the Republics of Genoa and Venice, began to systematically collect customs data to create balances of trade. England and Ireland followed and, from 1696 on, they collected a continuous series of data flows and released a yearly evaluation of the English balance of trade. Several of the continental states, such as France, followed suit, and by the end of the eighteenth-century most of them produced more or less comprehensive balances of trade. A number of recent scientific events and publications have discussed the availability of these trade data (two conferences in Lille in 2011 and in Paris in 2014)[1]. Last year, we organized a conference in Paris that explored the issue of classifying trade data in order to make them useful for economic analysis (Paris 2016). Our aim in this new conference is to take stock of these methodological and data-related efforts to provide a fresh view of the contribution of international trade to the growth and development of national economies before and at the time of the first Industrial Revolution.

Below are some suggestions for possible contributions:
– The ongoing debate among economists and historians shows there is no agreement on the direct causes as to why Britain was the first industrial nation and why other countries lagged behind. However, it must be noted that in recent years economic historians coming from different methodological backgrounds put renewed emphasis on the importance of international trade for the Industrial Revolution (Robert Allen, Maxine Berg, Kenneth Pomeranz among others). Put in a larger perspective, the impact of late twentieth-century globalization on development has forced us to rethink the relationship of international trade and industrialization.
– A complementary perspective is the analysis of international trade data for understanding the workings and transformations of early modern European economies. Goods that were traded and circulated at the international level occupied a special place. External trade provided European consumers with new goods (sugar, coffee, tea, Asian manufactures, etc.) and producers with new inputs (indigo, cotton, etc.). At the same time, it allowed regional specialization both in agricultural and industrial production by connecting these overseas markets to European regions that furnished non-local supplies such as meat, textiles, grains or wine. Actually, as a whole, data on external trade give fundamental insights into the material culture of Early Modern Europe and its transformations in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
– We will also welcome quantitative studies of policy changes and their effects such as, in the French case, the liberalization of the grain trade in 1774 under Turgot, the Eden trade treaty of 1786 and other trade agreements of the 1780s, the first unified tariff of 1791 that did away will most prohibitions and reduced industrial tariffs to 5-15%, the movement toward autarky after 1793, including the Continental System and the short free-trade period of 1814-1816. Comparable changes took place in most European economies.

This conference is financed by the TOFLIT18 project (http://toflit18.hypotheses.org/) funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR). It will take place on the 19th and the 20th of October in Paris in Dauphine. Limited funds are available for travel and accommodation of presenters and discussants; priority will be given to early-career researchers and researchers coming from emerging countries.

If you to participate, send 500-word abstracts including affiliation details before June 1st 2017 to either guillaume.daudin@dauphine.fr or Charles@ined.fr
If you want to apply for funding, please provide as well a preliminary budget and a one page CV.

Scientific Committee
Loïc Charles, Paul Cheney, Anne Conchon, Guillaume Daudin, Paul Girard, Ragnhild Hutchison, Aidan Kane, Lionel Kesztenbaum, Silvia Marzagalli, Kevin O’Rourke, Werner Scheltjens, Jan Willem Veluwenkamp

Organizing Committee
Loïc Charles and Guillaume Daudin
[1] Loïc Charles et Guillaume Daudin, éd., « Eighteenth Century International Trade Statistics: Sources and Methods », Revue de l’OFCE (Special Issue), no 140 (2015): 7‑377.

February 3rd 2017 meeting

Attending : Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Matthias Loise, Florence Perret, Guillaume Plique

1. Paul Girard & Sciences Po
Paul is discussing his status with SciencesPo.

2. Guillaume Plique’s planning
We have six confirmed weeks of work :
February 6th and 13th (2)
April 10th, 17th and 24th (3)
May 1st (1)
We have funded 16 weeks of work. We need to plan for the other 10 weeks ? 4 weeks in May, 4 weeks in June and 2 in July seems a bit extreme.

3. Simplification of goods
The works has been completed. Pierre Gervais is going to proofread Florence’s work on the datascape.
Pierre suggested to go further into the simplification, gathering all kinds of ‘agaric’ for instance. The group decides to stick with the original idea and not loose any information at the simplification stage.
During further discussion, it is decided that Pierre will not spend three weeks making sure that all simplification rules have been perfectly applied.

4. Looking for mistakes in the data
Matthias Loise has made a linear regression on the prices using product names, metric measurements unite and year. This way, he could forecast the prices and treat those which are too different from their predicted values. The rate of mistakes is still high. With the residual between 2,5 et 3, there is 60% of “true wrong prices”, 20% of “actually right prices” and 20% of doubtful cases. The share of true wrong prices is higher in local data (70%) than in the national data (55%).
As for now he could only work on metric measurements but it could be interesting to work on other units although it’s going to be hard to make comparisons (as those units are not standardized especially those emanating from the colonies).

5. Data: Assistance Publique & Marseille
Loïc Charles will look for new data mentioned to us by François Velde at the Assistance Publique (fond Montyon) during the following week. For now, he has been working on Marseille’s sources.
He basically found many small things, but no missing year.
– Imports per product in Levant’s échelles from 1725 to the mid 1770s (and some exports)
– Some colonial import and export trade statistics giving the destinations.
– Some documents coming from the beginning of the second bureau
– A list of freight costs at the bilateral port level

4. European funding
Loïc Charles met with Lucyna Derkacz/Gomez-Echeverri in charge of European projects at Paris 8. She was enthusiastic about Toflit18 and summed up the criteria to apply for a European funding. It appears that two programs could be interesting for Toflit:
– SSHS program. This depends of the work program and whether we fit in what they are interested.
– FET future & FET exchange programs (http://www.horizon2020.gouv.fr/cid110740/appel-2017-fet-open-coordination-and-support-actions-csa.html)
Those are relatively low budget programs which were created to finance interdisciplinary projects including new technologies and private companies, criteria which matches with Toflit. New adjudications are going to be made for 2017-2018.
Loïc Charles thinks that, first, we could duplicate the way we created the database to obtain similar practices, and then build a translation’s procedure and a multilateral database. In this way, we would be able to map not only one country but many simultaneous European perspectives. We could also match our data with maritime data (Sound Toll Registers http://www.soundtoll.nl/index.php/en/over-het-project/str-online & Navigocorpus http://navigocorpus.org/) but it would be a lot of work.
Guillaume’s contacts in Dauphine had been more interested in the Infrastructure program.
Guillaume and Loïc decide to each write a 1-paragraph defense of each option and send it around to the list to see who is interested in what.
Another option would be to create an ANR with European partners.

5. We discuss the scientific committee of the 2017 conference

January 5th 2017 meeting

Thank you to Florence for the first version of this report!


Attending : Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Matthias Loise, Florence Perret, Guillaume Plique
1. Planning Guillaume Plique
He is one month late of the preceeding project. And starting in February he is starting on Wasmer’s project (with a workshop at the end of March).
In total we have nearly 4 month (10 700 € from SciencesPo and 13 000 € from INED) Planning:
– First 2 weeks of February
– One or two weeks in March
And the rest ?

2. Paul Girard & SciencesPo

3. Looking for mistakes in the data
Matthias Loïs has been looking for mistakes in the data
a. By looking at trade flows over 25 million l.t. A number of typos.
b. By comparing retranscribed trade flows and predicted (by a repeated sales model) trade flows. Only national trade for the time being. A lot of too-small trade flows that are not very interesting to correct.
c. Will be looking at the difference between retranscribed prices and predicted prices (by a repeated sales model). Many mistakes in Marseille
It is often because they forget to divide by 100 or they mix “sous” and “livres”.

4. Data
Marseilles’s data are a pain to check and integrate in the database. Loïc is doing it on his own and is spending a lot of time on each document.

This is blocking the integration of Dardel’s Rouen.

We decide to put Moyons at the Assistance Publique on the top of the pile.

5. Simplification of goods and measure units
Matthias has treated the measure units with three successive files.
The work on Merchandise Simplification has started again thanks to Florence. Pierre is going to participate and aims at finishing at the end of February or March.

6. 2017 Conference
Pierre makes two proposals.
– Use Chaurand and Gradis and check if their data is compatible with ours
– Study the link between the complexity of classifications and specialization between ports. Start with wine ?

7. Next meetings
03/02-9:30 : medialab
08/03-9:30 : medialab
21/04-9:30 : medialab
01/06-9:30 : medialab

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

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