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Rise and fall in the Third Reich: Social mobility and Nazi membership

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  • Blum, Matthias
  • De Bromhead, Alan

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between Nazi membership and social mobility using a unique and highly detailed dataset of military conscripts and volunteers during the Third Reich. We find that membership of a Nazi organisation is positively related to social mobility when measured by the difference between fathers' and sons' occupations. This relationship is stronger for the more 'elite' NS organisations, the NSDAP and the SS. However, we find that this observed difference in upward mobility is driven by individuals with different characteristics self-selecting into these organisations, rather than from a direct reward to membership. These results are confirmed by a series of robustness tests. In addition, we employ our highly-detailed dataset to explore the determinants of Nazi membership. We find that NS membership is associated with higher socio-economic background and human capital levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Blum, Matthias & De Bromhead, Alan, 2017. "Rise and fall in the Third Reich: Social mobility and Nazi membership," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2017-04, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:qucehw:201704
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    National Socialism; Third Reich; Social Mobility; Nazi Membership; Second World War; Political Economy; Germany; Economic History;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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