Austerity and the Rise of the Nazi Party

45 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2017

See all articles by Gregori Galofré-Vilà

Gregori Galofré-Vilà

University of Oxford - Department of Sociology

Christopher M. Meissner

University of California, Davis

Martin McKee

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

David Stuckler

Bocconi University

Date Written: December 2017

Abstract

The current historical consensus on the economic causes of the inexorable Nazi electoral success between 1930 and 1933 suggests this was largely related to the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression. Alternatively, it has been speculated that contractionary fiscal austerity measures contributed to votes for the Nazi party. Voting data from 1,024 districts and 98 cities shows that Chancellor Brüning’s austerity measures (spending cuts and tax increases) were positively associated with increasing vote shares for the Nazi party. We also find that the suffering due to austerity (measured by mortality rates) radicalized the German electorate. Our findings are robust to a range of specifications including an instrumental variable strategy and a border-pair policy discontinuity design.

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Suggested Citation

Galofré-Vilà, Gregori and Meissner, Christopher M. and McKee, Martin and Stuckler, David, Austerity and the Rise of the Nazi Party (December 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w24106. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3085719

Gregori Galofré-Vilà (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of Sociology ( email )

Manor Road
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Christopher M. Meissner

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Martin McKee

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine ( email )

Keppel Street
Health Services Research Unit Professor of European Public Health
London WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom
+44 20 7-927 2229 (Phone)
+44 20 7-580 8183 (Fax)

David Stuckler

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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