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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; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Mark Koyama

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

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

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

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

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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

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