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Plague, Politics, and Pogroms: The Black Death, Rule of Law, and the persecution of Jews in the Holy Roman Empire

Theresa Finley and Mark Koyama

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper explores the institutional determinants of persecution by studying the intensity of the Black Death pogroms in the Holy Roman Empire. Political fragmentation exacerbated competition for the rents generated by Jewish moneylending. This competition made Jewish communities vulnerable during periods of crisis. We test this hypothesis using data on the intensity of pogroms. In line with our model, we find that communities governed by Archbishoprics, Bishoprics, and Imperial Free Cities experienced more intense and violent persecutions than did those governed by the emperor or by secular princes. We discuss the implications that this has for the enforcement of the rule of law in weak states.

Keywords: Black Death; Political Fragmentation; Legal Fragmentation; State Capacity; Jewish History; Persecution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K00 N13 N43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-06-19
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-law and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

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Journal Article: Plague, Politics, and Pogroms: The Black Death, the Rule of Law, and the Persecution of Jews in the Holy Roman Empire (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:72110

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