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Did Strategic Behavior Save the Schindler Jews?

  • Franklin G. Mixon, Jr.


    (Department of Economics, University of Southern Mississippi)

  • Len J. Trevino

    (Washington State University)

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    The use of important historic events, coupled with an easily recognized media dramatization of that event, can provide a compelling tool for explaining economics principles. In this paper, such a mechanism is developed by analyzing events from the Holocaust, as portrayed in the Oscar-winning movie, Schindler's List. In the context of a model that matches Oskar Schindler (hero) against Amon Goeth (villain) as rivals in a sequential game, it is proposed that Schindler, by establishing a reputation that suggested he would choose an action favored by Goeth, but against his own interests, was able to effect his desired outcome. That is, through strategic behavior he saved 1,100 Polish Jews from extermination in Nazi death camps. The analysis of this aspect of the Holocaust via Schindler's List provides for an insightful pedagogical device for students of economics and strategy.

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    Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
    Pages: 493-499

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    Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:30:y:2004:i:3:p:493-499
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