Wikipedia search for historical firm founding date (Python)

For my RA work this summer, I developed this Python script which links a historical firm to its suggested Wikipedia information in order to predict the firm's founding date. Here is a quick write-up on the script, which is available on GitHub.

The script as written requires an input file called "CompanyList". This file should be utf-16 encoded .txt file. The file should contain a list of the companies to be searched, with one company on each line.

The output file will be a utf-8 encoded .txt file called "WikipediaFoundingDates". You can initialize this file beforehand by creating a blank .txt file of this name. After the script runs, the updated file will have a semicolon-separated list that can be easily imported into other software for analysis...

 

Read More

Pairing voices with the data: deep dives into responses from the 1911 NCF survey

This summer I explored the National Civic Federation 1911 survey of labor and business leaders in my RA work for a Politics professor at Oxford. Though I ended up programming for most of my work, I did have reason to look into some of the smaller firms more deeply. Throughout the process, I collected links to blogs, articles, and websites about some of these firms that I found particularly interesting. Below, I offer links to these external sources, pairing them with the response to the questions on the Sherman Anti-Trust Act given in my survey data. If you love minutiae, dive in!

Read More

The interesting life of Alfred Mummery

An economist and a mountain climber? The perfect nineteenth century combination! Alfred Mummery built his mountain climbing reputation on the Matterhorn and led the first team to attempt to climb the 8126m Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas. This fatal attempt was in 1895, and Nanga Parbat would take 30 more lives before it was successfully summited in 1953.

Mummery also co-authored The Physiology of Industry in 1889 with economist J.A. Hobson, the famous proponent of under-consumptionist theories. This was a notable contribution to heterodox economics at the time, and J.M. Keynes discussed the work at length in the General Theory chapter 23 (which apparently nobody reads these days). Keynes offers an extended quote from Hobson about how they came to work together...

Read More