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Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development

Francesco D’Acunto, Marcel Prokopczuk () and Michael Weber ()

Review of Economic Studies, 2019, vol. 86, issue 3, 1170-1206

Abstract: Historically, European Jews have specialized in financial services while being the victims of antisemitism. We find that the present-day demand for finance is lower in German counties where historical antisemitism was higher, compared to otherwise similar counties. Households in counties with high historical antisemitism have similar saving rates but invest less in stocks, hold lower saving deposits, and are less likely to get a mortgage to finance homeownership after controlling for wealth and a rich set of current and historical covariates. Present-day antisemitism and supply-side forces do not fully explain the results. Households in counties where historical antisemitism was higher distrust the financial sector more—a potential cultural externality of historical antisemitism that reduces wealth accumulation in the long run.

Keywords: Cultural economics; Cultural finance; Intergenerational transmission of norms; Stereotypes; Household finance; History & finance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 G11 J15 N90 Z10 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development (2017) Downloads
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