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On the origins of national identity. German nation-building after Napoleon

Author

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  • Kersting, Felix
  • Wolf, Nikolaus

Abstract

What are the origins of national identity? In this paper, we investigate the success of the first nation-building policies conducted in Germany, around 1815. To elicit changes in identity at the level of individuals we use data on first names given in over 40.000 families across German cities. Using changes in the Prussian territory as well as variation within the same families over time, we find that parents in cities treated by nation building policies responded by choosing national (rather than Prussian) first names for their children.

Suggested Citation

  • Kersting, Felix & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2021. "On the origins of national identity. German nation-building after Napoleon," CEPR Discussion Papers 16314, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:16314
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    First Names; Germany; Nation-Building; National identity; Prussia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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