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Political Extremism in the 1920s and 1930s: Do German Lessons Generalize?

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  • de Bromhead, Alan
  • Eichengreen, Barry
  • O'Rourke, Kevin H.

Abstract

We examine the impact of the Great Depression on the share of votes for right-wing extremists in elections in the 1920s and 1930s. We confirm the existence of a link between political extremism and economic hard times as captured by growth or contraction of the economy. What mattered was not simply growth at the time of the election, but cumulative growth performance. The impact was greatest in countries with relatively short histories of democracy, with electoral systems that created low hurdles to parliamentary representation, and which had been on the losing side in World War I.

Suggested Citation

  • de Bromhead, Alan & Eichengreen, Barry & O'Rourke, Kevin H., 2013. "Political Extremism in the 1920s and 1930s: Do German Lessons Generalize?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(02), pages 371-406, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:73:y:2013:i:02:p:371-406_00
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    1. Group, then Threaten: How Bad Ideas Move Millions by Mark Harrison
      by Mark Harrison in Mark Harrison's blog on 2015-03-23 13:00:23

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    Cited by:

    1. David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon Hanson & Kaveh Majlesi, 2016. "Importing Political Polarization? The Electoral Consequences of Rising Trade Exposure," NBER Working Papers 22637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Marcel Prokopczuk & Francesco D'Acunto & Michael Weber, 2015. "Distrust in Finance Lingers: Jewish Persecution and Households' Investments," 2015 Meeting Papers 26, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Cavaille, Charlotte & Ferwerda, Jeremy, 2017. "How Distributional Conflict over Public Spending Drives Support for Anti-Immigrant Parties," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 328, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    4. Martin Halla & Alexander F. Wagner & Josef Zweimüller, 2012. "Does Immigration into Their Neighborhoods Incline Voters Toward the Extreme Right? The Case of the Freedom Party of Austria," NRN working papers 2012-04, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Alan M. Taylor, 2013. "Cross of Euros," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 167-192, Summer.
    6. Kersting, Felix, 2017. "Coal and Blood: Industrialization and the Rise of Nationalism in Prussia before 1914," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 52, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    7. Aggeborn, Linuz & Persson, Lovisa, 2017. "Public Finance and Right-Wing Populism," Working Paper Series 1182, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Nicholas Crafts, 2014. "What Does the 1930s' Experience Tell Us about the Future of the Eurozone?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 713-727, July.
    9. Koenig, Christoph, 2015. "Loose Cannons – War Veterans and the Erosion of Democracy in Weimar Germany," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1079, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    10. Gregori Galofré-Vilà & Christopher M. Meissner & Martin McKee & David Stuckler, 2017. "Austerity and the rise of the Nazi party," NBER Working Papers 24106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:wly:jmoncb:v:49:y:2017:i:2-3:p:273-317 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:ovi:oviste:v:xvii:y:2017:i:2:p:120-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Francesco D’Acunto & Marcel Prokopczuk & Michael Weber, 2017. "Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 23785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Berg, Heléne & Dahlberg, Matz & Vernby, Kåre, 2016. "Post-WWI Military Disarmament and Interwar Fascism: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2016:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    15. Jérémie Cohen‐Setton & Joshua K. Hausman & Johannes F. Wieland, 2017. "Supply‐Side Policies in the Depression: Evidence from France," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(2-3), pages 273-317, March.

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