(Re-) Shaping Hatred: Anti-Semitic Attitudes in Germany, 1890-2006

59 Pages Posted: 25 May 2012

See all articles by Nico Voigtländer

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)

Date Written: April 2012

Abstract

In this paper, we assess the determinants of long-run persistence of local culture, and examine the success of policy interventions designed to change attitudes. We analyze anti-Semitic attitudes drawing on individual-level survey results from Germany’s social value survey in 1996 and 2006. On average, we find that historical voting patterns for anti-Semitic parties between 1890 and 1933 are powerful predictors of anti-Jewish attitudes today. There is evidence that transmission takes place both vertically (parent to child) and horizontally (among peers). Policy modified German views on Jews in important ways: The cohort that grew up under the Nazi regime shows significantly higher levels of anti-Semitism. After 1945, the victorious Allies implemented denazification programs in their zones of occupation. We use differences in these policies between the occupying powers as a source of identifying variation. The US and French zones today still show high anti-Semitism, reflecting an ambitious botched attempt at denazification. In contrast, the British and Soviet zones, register much lower levels of Jew-hatred.

Keywords: anti-Semitism, attitudes, cultural transmission

JEL Classification: N44, Z1

Suggested Citation

Voigtländer, Nico and Voth, Hans-Joachim, (Re-) Shaping Hatred: Anti-Semitic Attitudes in Germany, 1890-2006 (April 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8935. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2066308

Nico Voigtländer (Contact Author)

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 )

London
United Kingdom

Hans-Joachim Voth

University of Zurich - UBS International Center of Economics in Society ( email )

Raemistrasse 71
Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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