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Plague, Politics, and Pogroms: The Black Death, the Rule of Law, and the Persecution of Jews in the Holy Roman Empire

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  • Theresa Finley
  • Mark Koyama

Abstract

This paper explores the institutional determinants of persecution by studying the intensity of the Black Death pogroms in the Holy Roman Empire. We provide evidence that communities governed by archbishoprics, bishoprics, and imperial free cities experienced more intense and violent persecutions than did those governed by the emperor. We suggest that political fragmentation exacerbated competition for the rents generated by Jewish moneylending, which made Jews more vulnerable during periods of crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Theresa Finley & Mark Koyama, 2018. "Plague, Politics, and Pogroms: The Black Death, the Rule of Law, and the Persecution of Jews in the Holy Roman Empire," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 253-277.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/699016
    DOI: 10.1086/699016
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    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Black Death

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    Cited by:

    1. Sascha O. Becker & Luigi Pascali, 2019. "Religion, Division of Labor, and Conflict: Anti-semitism in Germany over 600 Years," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(5), pages 1764-1804, May.
    2. Remi Jedwab & Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2020. "The Economic Impact of the Black Death," Working Papers 2020-14, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    3. Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2017. "Jewish communities and city growth in preindustrial Europe," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 339-354.
    4. Sascha O. Becker & Jared Rubin & Ludger Woessmann, 2020. "Religion in Economic History: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 8365, CESifo.
    5. Remi Jedwab & Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2019. "Negative shocks and mass persecutions: evidence from the Black Death," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 345-395, December.
    6. Spitzer, Yannay, 2019. "Pale in Comparison: Jews as a Rural Service Minority," CEPR Discussion Papers 14262, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Iyer, S., 2020. "Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2084, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Becker, Sascha O. & Pascali, Luigi, 2016. "Religion, Division of Labor and Conflict: Anti-Semitism in German Regions over 600 Years," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 288, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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