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Learning to Participate in Politics: Evidence from Jewish Expulsions in Nazi Germany

Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel (), Dozie Okoye and Mutlu Yuksel

No 10778, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper provides causal evidence on the importance of socioeconomic circumstances, socialization, and childhood events, in the formation of adult political behaviour and attitudes, using region-by-cohort variation in exposure to the Jewish expulsions in Nazi Germany as a quasi-experiment. We find that the expulsion of Jewish professionals had long-lasting detrimental effects on the political attitudes and beliefs of Germans who were at impressionable years during the Nazi Regime. We further demonstrate that these adverse effects on political behaviour and attitudes may be explained by the social changes brought about by the expulsions, which led to relatively lower adult socioeconomic status and civic skills for individuals in their impressionable ages during the expulsions. These results are robust to several alternative specifications, composition bias induced by differential migration and mortality rates across regions and cohorts, and also regional differences in economic performance, wartime destruction, urbanization, and party support, during the Nazi Regime.

Keywords: political behaviour; impressionable years; Jewish expulsions; socioeconomic status (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D74 O12 P16 N40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-pol
Date: 2017-05
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