Paris School of Economics - École d'Économie de Paris

La science économique au service de la société

Project Belle Epoque - PSL

The Parisian Financiers’ Belle Epoque (1871-1913). Spaces, Organizations and Social Structures (BELLEPOQUE)

Principal investigator : Angelo Riva ; grant by Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University

  • This grant is managed in very close collaboration with the ILB - Institut Louis Bachelier

This interdisciplinary project aims at exploring the nexus between : (i) the listed securities’ characteristics, market quality and prices’ behavior on two well-differentiated and competing organizations for financial transactions (the Paris Bourse and the Paris OTC-market, called the Coulisse) between 1871 and 1913 ; (ii) the locations of financial operators in Paris and the location of their partners around the world ; (iii) the financial (for banks and bankers) and social (for bankers) characters of both financial operators and their partners.
First, we establish a map of financial operators in Paris (street level) and of their partners around the world (town level). Second, we collect data on the financial (capital) and social (professions of parents ; average rents of area where their headquarters and private houses are located) characters of financial operators. Third, we reconstruct the microstructures of the two involved markets, namely listing requirements. Fourth, we collect data on the issuers (capital, headquarters, administrators ; date of foundation ; governance rules) and the listed securities (bi-monthly prices and securities events).
With these data, first, we explain why a given security lists on one market rather than the other by using listing requirements, social financial and geo-located data on issuers and financial operators. Then, we explain prices behavior by controlling for additional market quality features (liquidity proxied by spreads, microstructure features as capacity of operators, market model).
Researchers from PjSE, Dauphine, EHESS, ILB, in collaboration with researches from EPITA and Institut de Géographie Nationale, bring together competencies, in economics, finance, geography, history and sociology. This research is based on two high-profile equipments of PSL structure the project : the PjSE-based Equipment of Excellence “Data for Financial History” and the historical Geographical Information System “GeoHistoricalData” of the Laboratoire de démographie et d’histoire sociale (CRH, EHESS). It also contributes to the two “Très Grandes Infrastructures de Recherche” devoted to social sciences and the humanities : Progedo and Huma-Num. The project is planned to last 36 months (from January 2016 to December 2019).