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

See all articles by Raul Caruso

Raul Caruso

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Date Written: May 27, 2015

Abstract

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

Caruso, Raul, Identity and Incentives: An Economic Interpretation of the Holocaust (May 27, 2015). C.A. Anderton and J. Brauer, eds., Economic Aspects of Genocides, Mass Atrocities, and Their Prevention. New York: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2611357

Raul Caruso (Contact Author)

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

20123 Milano
Italy

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