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Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development

Listed author(s):
  • Francesco D’Acunto
  • Marcel Prokopczuk
  • Michael Weber

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23785.

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Date of creation: Sep 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23785
Note: AG AP CF DAE EFG LS POL
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