Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2284907
 


 



Bowling for Fascism: Social Capital and the Rise of the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany, 1919-33


Shanker Satyanath


New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Nico Voigtländer


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Hans-Joachim Voth


University of Zurich - UBS International Center of Economics in Society; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

August 10, 2013

Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
We collect new data on the density of associations in 229 towns and cities in interwar Germany. Towns with one standard deviation higher association density – a common proxy for social capital – saw at least 15% faster Nazi Party entry. Not only associations with a militaristic outlook (such as veteran clubs) positively predict Nazi Party entry, but also those with a clearly civic agenda (e.g., animal breeders, chess clubs, and choirs). Party membership, in turn, predicts electoral success. These results suggest that social capital aided the rise of the Nazi movement that ultimately destroyed Germany’s first democracy. We show that the effects of social capital depended on the political context – in federal states with more stable governments, higher association density was not correlated with faster Nazi Party entry.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 58

Keywords: social capital, democracy, political economy, Weimar Germany, Nazi Party

JEL Classification: N44, P16, Z10


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Date posted: June 27, 2013 ; Last revised: November 1, 2015

Suggested Citation

Satyanath, Shanker and Voigtländer, Nico and Voth, Hans-Joachim, Bowling for Fascism: Social Capital and the Rise of the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany, 1919-33 (August 10, 2013). Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2284907 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2284907

Contact Information

Shanker Satyanath
New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )
715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States
Nico Voigtländer
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )
110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States
+1-310-794 6382 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/nico.v/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Hans-Joachim Voth (Contact Author)
University of Zurich - UBS International Center of Economics in Society ( email )
Raemistrasse 71
Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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