NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Ralf Meisenzahl

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Working Papers

April 2016The Real Effects of Liquidity During the Financial Crisis: Evidence from Automobiles
with Efraim Benmelech, Rodney Ramcharan: w22148
Illiquidity in short-term credit markets during the financial crisis might have severely curtailed the supply of non-bank consumer credit. Using a new data set linking every car sold in the United States to the credit supplier involved in each transaction, we find that the collapse of the asset-backed commercial paper market reduced the financing capacity of such non-bank lenders as captive leasing companies in the automobile industry. As a result, car sales in counties that traditionally depended on non-bank lenders declined sharply. Although other lenders increased their supply of credit, the net aggregate effect of illiquidity on car sales is large and negative. We conclude that the decline in auto sales during the financial crisis was caused in part by a credit supply shock driven by t...
April 2011The Rate and Direction of Invention in the British Industrial Revolution: Incentives and Institutions
with Joel Mokyr: w16993
During the Industrial Revolution technological progress and innovation became the main drivers of economic growth. But why was Britain the technological leader? We argue that one hitherto little recognized British advantage was the supply of highly skilled, mechanically able craftsmen who were able to adapt, implement, improve, and tweak new technologies and who provided the micro inventions necessary to make macro inventions highly productive and remunerative. Using a sample of 759 of these mechanics and engineers, we study the incentives and institutions that facilitated the high rate of inventive activity during the Industrial Revolution. First, apprenticeship was the dominant form of skill formation. Formal education played only a minor role. Second, many skilled workmen relied on secr...

Published: The Rate and Direction of Invention in the British Industrial Revolution: Incentives and Institutions, Ralf R. Meisenzahl, Joel Mokyr. in The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, Lerner and Stern. 2012

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