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Radio and the rise of Nazi in pre-war Germany

Author

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  • Adena, Maja
  • Enikolopov, Ruben
  • Petrova, Maria
  • Santarosa, Veronica
  • Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina

Abstract

How far can media undermine democratic institutions and how persuasive can it be in assuring public support for dictator policies? We study this question in the context of Germany before World War II, between 1929 and 1939. First, we estimate the impact of radio signal on voting for the Nazi party before and after Nazi got control over the content of the broadcast. Prior to Hitler s appointment as chancellor, the radio, broadcasting cultural programs and some political news with an anti-Nazi slant, had a substantial negative effect on voting for the Nazi party. This negative effect was fully undone in just one month before the last competitive pre-war election following Hitler s appointment in 1933, which resulted in the change of radio content to heavy pro-Nazi propaganda. In the last few months that Germany remained democracy, the persuasion power of pro-Nazi propaganda was smaller than that of the anti-Nazi radio. Second, we examine the impact of the radio after Nazi fully consolidated power. Radio propaganda helped Nazi to enroll new party members and encouraged denunciations of Jews and other open expressions of anti-Semitism. Radio was most effective as propaganda tool when combined with other tools, such as Hitler s speeches, and when the message was more aligned with listeners priors as measured by historical variation in anti-Semitism.

Suggested Citation

  • Adena, Maja & Enikolopov, Ruben & Petrova, Maria & Santarosa, Veronica & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2013. "Radio and the rise of Nazi in pre-war Germany," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79876, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79876
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3253-3285, December.
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "Persuasion: Empirical Evidence," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 643-669, September.
    3. King, Gary & Rosen, Ori & Tanner, Martin & Wagner, Alexander F., 2008. "Ordinary Economic Voting Behavior in the Extraordinary Election of Adolf Hitler," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(04), pages 951-996, December.
    4. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    5. Stefano Della Vigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2014. "Cross-Border Media and Nationalism: Evidence from Serbian Radio in Croatia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 103-132, July.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:04:p:645-668_99 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Ochsner & Felix Rösel, 2017. "Activated History - The Case of the Turkish Sieges of Vienna," CESifo Working Paper Series 6586, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Enikolopov, Ruben & Makarin, Alexey & Petrova, Maria, 2016. "Social Media and Protest Participation: Evidence from Russia," CEPR Discussion Papers 11254, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Maja Adena, 2016. "Nonprofit organizations, free media and donor’s trust," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 239-263, July.
    4. Bei Qin & David Strömberg & Yanhui Wu, 2017. "Why Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests versus Surveillance and Propaganda," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 117-140, Winter.
    5. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Konstantin Sonin, 2018. "Social Media and Corruption," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 150-174, January.
    6. Valentino Larcinese & Luke Miner, 2018. "Was Obama Elected by the Internet? Broadband Diffusion and Voters' Behavior in US Presidential Elections," CESifo Working Paper Series 6882, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

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