Sunday, September 24, 2017

Germany: Anti-Semitism continues to hurt German pocketbooks

Via Journalist's Resource:
A new paper looks at lingering resentments in Germany and finds that families living in counties with a history of anti-Semitism today are less likely to invest in the stock market. That is costly because, as other research has shown, holding stocks is associated with growing wealth in the long run. “Hatred against Jews in the past reduces not only the long-term wealth of the persecuted, but of the persecutors as well,” the authors write.

An academic study worth reading: “Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development,” a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017.

Drawing on a diverse assortment of data measured across hundreds of years in Germany, such as access to banking services and local anti-Semitism, a team led by Francesco D’Acunto of the University of Maryland measures “present day regional differences in financial development.”

To isolate anti-Semitism by county, the authors establish a number of proxies: They look for the presence of a Jewish community before the year 1300 (92 percent of counties) and for confirmed pogroms associated with the Black Death (54 percent of counties), a plague that spread across Europe around 1349 and for which Jews were widely blamed. During the years leading up to the Holocaust of World War II, they look for vandalized synagogues, votes for anti-Semitic parties and anti-Jewish pogroms. They also use surveys from 1996 and 2006 that assessed German attitudes toward statements like: “Jewish people living in Germany should have the same rights as Germans in every respect.”

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