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From the Persecuting to the Protective State? Jewish Expulsions and Weather Shocks from 1100 to 1800

  • Anderson, R. Warren
  • Johnson, Noel D
  • Koyama, Mark

What factors caused the persecution of minorities in medieval and early modern Europe? We build a model that predicts that minority communities were more likely to be expropriated in the wake of negative income shocks. We then use panel data consisting of 785 city-level expulsions of Jews from 933 European cities between 1100 and 1800 to test the implications of the model. We use the variation in city-level temperature to test whether expulsions were associated with colder growing seasons. We find that a one standard deviation decrease in average growing season temperature in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was associated with a one to two percentage point increase in the likelihood that a Jewish community would be expelled. Drawing on our model and on additional historical evidence we argue that the rise of state capacity was one reason why this relationship between negative income shocks and expulsions weakened after 1600.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44228.

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Date of creation: 05 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44228
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