Identity and Incentives: An Economic Interpretation of the Holocaust
C.A. Anderton and J. Brauer, eds., Economic Aspects of Genocides, Mass Atrocities, and Their Prevention. New York: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
25 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2015 Last revised: 4 Jun 2015
Date Written: May 27, 2015
This paper proposes an interpretation of the Holocaust along the lines of economic theory and public choice. The Holocaust had been the most inhumane and brutal genocide in the twentieth century, and also a gigantic predatory enterprise shaped and engineered by a complex institutional machinery. The paper proposes a general interpretation based on the inclusion of identity-associated elements in the utility functions of Nazis. Under the Nazi regime, the production and strengthening of Nazi identity was a matter of political economy. In addition, interpretations of Aryanization (appropriation of Jewish property) and the running of extermination camps are provided.
Keywords: Holocaust, identity, expropriation, dehumanization, Aryanization, extermination camps, genocide.
JEL Classification: D74; H56; D78, H13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation