The Political Legacy of Nazi Annexation

54 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2021

See all articles by Mario Cannella

Mario Cannella

Northwestern University

Alexey Makarin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ricardo Pique

Ryerson University, Faculty of Arts - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 1, 2021

Abstract

This paper uses a historical natural experiment - the case of Nazi Operational Zones (OZ) in Italy during WWII - to shed light on the legacy of foreign state repression. While the rest of Northern Italy was placed under Fascist rule, the OZ were de facto annexed by Nazi Germany and subjected to full German administrative and military control. A large segment of the OZ boundary partitioned historically homogeneous regions in a quasi-exogenous manner. Using a spatial regression discontinuity design, we first show that the OZ experienced harsher political persecution and violence. After the war, OZ areas exhibited greater support for radical opposition, on both the left and the right, as well as lower political participation. We interpret these findings as evidence of disenchantment in the political process and distrust of the state. Consistent with this argument, voters in affected areas showed lower political trust and less support for laws suppressing dissent. Overall, our results suggest that foreign repression, even if temporary, has enduring political and social consequences.

Keywords: repression, annexation, radicalization, state trust, Nazi violence

JEL Classification: D72, D74, H56, N44

Suggested Citation

Cannella, Mario and Makarin, Alexey and Pique Cebrecos, Ricardo Santiago, The Political Legacy of Nazi Annexation (April 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3817933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3817933

Mario Cannella

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Alexey Makarin (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://alexeymakarin.github.io/

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Via Sallustiana, 62
Rome, Lazio 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Ricardo Santiago Pique Cebrecos

Ryerson University, Faculty of Arts - Department of Economics ( email )

Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/piquericardo/

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