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Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development

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  • Francesco D’Acunto
  • Marcel Prokopczuk
  • Michael Weber

Abstract

For centuries, Jews in Europe have specialized in financial services. At the same time, they have been the victims of historical antisemitism on the part of the Christian majority. We find that present-day financial development is lower in German counties where historical antisemitism was higher, compared to otherwise similar counties. Households in counties with high historical antisemitism have similar savings rates but invest less in stocks, hold lower bank deposits, and are less likely to get a mortgage–but not to own a house–after controlling for wealth and a rich set of current and historical covariates. Present-day antisemitism and supply-side forces do not appear to fully explain the results. Present-day households in counties where historical antisemitism was higher express lower trust in finance, but have levels of generalized trust similar to other households.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23785
    Note: AG AP CF DAE EFG LS POL
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    3. Altmann Kristina & Bernard René & Le Blanc Julia & Gabor-Toth Enikö & Hebbat Malik & Kothmayr Lisa & Schmidt Tobias & Tzamourani Panagiota & Werner Daniel & Zhu Junyi, 2020. "The Panel on Household Finances (PHF) – Microdata on household wealth in Germany," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 21(3), pages 373-400, September.
    4. Natividad, Gabriel, 2019. "Stunted firms: The long-term impacts of colonial taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(3), pages 525-548.
    5. Elisabetta Lazzaro, 2021. "Linking the Creative Economy with Universities’ Entrepreneurship: A Spillover Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(3), pages 1-12, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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