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Austerity and the rise of the Nazi party

Author: Gregori Galofré-Vilà; Christopher M Meissner; Martin McKee; David Stuckler; National Bureau of Economic Research,
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 24106.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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 (high unemployment and financial instability). However, these factors cannot fully account for the Nazi's electoral success. Alternatively it has been speculated that fiscally contractionary austerity measures,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Gregori Galofré-Vilà; Christopher M Meissner; Martin McKee; David Stuckler; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 1015975997
Notes: "December 2017."
Description: 1 online resource (62 pages) : illustrations, maps
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 24106.
Responsibility: Gregori Galofré-Vilà, Christopher M. Meissner, Martin McKee, David Stuckler.

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 (high unemployment and financial instability). However, these factors cannot fully account for the Nazi's electoral success. Alternatively it has been speculated that fiscally contractionary austerity measures, including spending cuts and tax rises, contributed to votes for the Nazi party especially among middle- and upper-classes who had more to lose from them. We use voting data from 1,024 districts in Germany on votes cast for the Nazi and rival Communist and Center parties between 1930 and 1933, evaluating whether radical austerity measures, measured as the combination of tax increases and spending cuts, contributed to the rise of the Nazis. Our analysis shows that chancellor Brüning's austerity measures were positively associated with increasing vote shares for the Nazi party. Depending on how we measure austerity and the elections we consider, each 1 standard deviation increase in austerity is associated with a 2 to 5 percentage point increase in vote share for the Nazis. Consistent with existing evidence, we find that unemployment rates were linked with greater votes for the Communist party. Our findings are robust to a range of specifications including a border-pair policy discontinuity design and alternative measures of radicalization such as Nazi party membership. The coalition that allowed a majority to form government in March 1933 might not have been able to form had fiscal policy been more expansionary.

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