Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development

64 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2017

See all articles by Francesco D'Acunto

Francesco D'Acunto

Boston College

Marcel Prokopczuk

Leibniz Universität Hannover - Faculty of Economics and Management; University of Reading - ICMA Centre

Michael Weber

University of Chicago - Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2017

Abstract

For centuries, Jews in Europe have specialized in financial services. At the same time, they have been the victims of historical antisemitism on the part of the Christian majority. We find that present-day financial development is lower in German counties where historical antisemitism was higher, compared to otherwise similar counties. Households in counties with high historical antisemitism have similar savings rates but invest less in stocks, hold lower bank deposits, and are less likely to get a mortgage–but not to own a house–after controlling for wealth and a rich set of current and historical covariates. Present-day antisemitism and supply-side forces do not appear to fully explain the results. Present-day households in counties where historical antisemitism was higher express lower trust in finance, but have levels of generalized trust similar to other households.

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Suggested Citation

D'Acunto, Francesco and Prokopczuk, Marcel and Weber, Michael, Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development (September 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23785. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3035114

Francesco D'Acunto (Contact Author)

Boston College ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Marcel Prokopczuk

Leibniz Universität Hannover - Faculty of Economics and Management ( email )

Koenigsworther Platz 1
Hannover, 30167
Germany

University of Reading - ICMA Centre ( email )

Whiteknights Park
P.O. Box 242
Reading RG6 6BA
United Kingdom

Michael Weber

University of Chicago - Finance ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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