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“For Being Aboriginal”: Economic Perspectives on Pre-Holocaust Genocide and Mass Killings


  • Brauer, Jurgen
  • Caruso, Raul


We present two schemata with which to parse cases of genocide and mass killings (GMK) for economic content. The first schema enumerates several ways in which economic aspects affect and are affected by episodes of GMK and roams across various economic concepts and theories that might be applied to case material. The second schema takes one specific economic theoretical framework, the theory of constrained optimization, and suggests how to employ it systematically to examine (1) perpetrators’, victims’, and third parties’ objectives, (2) the cost of perpetration, escape, or intervention, and (3) the resources available to pay (or fail to pay) these costs. In addition, since much of the GMK literature deals with cases following the 1948 codification of the word genocide in international law, we illustrate the economic concepts and theories with pre-Holocaust examples. The intent of the chapter is to speak to both, economists and genocide scholars.

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  • Brauer, Jurgen & Caruso, Raul, 2015. "“For Being Aboriginal”: Economic Perspectives on Pre-Holocaust Genocide and Mass Killings," MPRA Paper 64462, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:64462

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jurgen Brauer, 1991. "Perspective," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 54-58, May.
    2. Charles Anderton & Jurgen Brauer, 2014. "Economics of Genocide and International Law," Working Papers 1409, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    3. Charles Anderton & Jurgen Brauer, 2016. "Genocide and mass killing risk and prevention: perspectives from constrained optimization models," Working Papers 1613, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    4. Charles Anderton, 2014. "A research agenda for the economic study of genocide: signposts from the field of conflict economics," Working Papers 1413, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Genocide; mass killing; case studies; economics; perpetrators; victims; third parties; preferences; costs; resources.;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative


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