Insuring Against Hunger? Long-Term Political Consequences of Exposure to the Dutch Famine
38 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021
Date Written: July 28, 2021
Does experiencing a shock alter one's voting behavior? We explore how a specific shock to individuals’ health and human capital accumulation -- in-utero malnutrition -- prompted by the sudden onset of the 1944/45 Dutch Famine affects insurance demand and voting behavior later in life. Given similar socialization patterns, we find conglomerations of affected individuals to be associated with higher support for Left parties more than 50 years after the exposure. Relying on rich administrative data and leveraging the Dutch Famine as a natural experiment, this paper represents an initial effort to investigate and confirm the long-term effects of shocks on political behavior.
Keywords: political economy, voting, insurance, redistribution, famine, administrative data
JEL Classification: D72, D81, P16, I13, J65
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