Jewish Persecutions and Weather Shocks: 1100-1800

59 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2013 Last revised: 2 Jan 2014

Warren Anderson

University of Michigan at Dearborn

Noel D. Johnson

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Mark Koyama

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 30, 2013

Abstract

What factors caused the persecution of minorities in medieval and early modern Europe? We build a model that predicts that minority communities were more likely to be expropriated in the wake of negative income shocks. Using panel data consisting of 1,366 city-level persecutions of Jews from 936 European cities between 1100 and 1800, we test whether persecutions were more likely in colder growing seasons. A one standard deviation decrease in average growing season temperature increased the probability of a persecution between one-half and one percentage points (relative to a baseline probability of two percent). This effect was strongest in regions with poor soil quality or located within weak states. We argue that long-run decline in violence against Jews between 1500 and 1800 is partly attributable to increases in fiscal and legal capacity across many European states.

Keywords: Political Economy, State Capacity, Expulsions, Jewish History, Climate

JEL Classification: N33, N43, Z12, J15, N53

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Warren and Johnson, Noel D. and Koyama, Mark, Jewish Persecutions and Weather Shocks: 1100-1800 (December 30, 2013). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 13-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2212323 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2212323

R. Warren Anderson

University of Michigan at Dearborn ( email )

4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128-1491
United States

Noel D. Johnson

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Mark Koyama (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~mkoyama2/About.html

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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