New working paper

Persecution and Escape:
Professional Networks and High-Skilled Emigration from Nazi Germany

with Volker Lindenthal, Sharun Mukand, and Fabian Waldinger

A short summary (1/N)

pdf: ……
(2/N) Academics of Jewish origin in Weimar Germany were some of the greatest scientific luminaries of the first half of the 20th century.

For example, Nobel Laureates such as Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, and Max Born shaped modern physics.
(3/N) The National Socialist Party (NSDAP) seized power on January 30, 1933.

On April 7, 1933, the Nazi government started to dismiss academics of Jewish descent from their positions.

The University of Berlin at the time:
The increasing persecution in Nazi Germany and the threat of deportation to camps meant that academics of Jewish origin scrambled to escape through emigration.

Many went to leading universities around the world.
Anecdotally, academic networks played an important role in the decision to leave Germany. E.g. Göttingen-based world-class mathematician Richard Courant left Germany in 1934 (an “early émigré”) and helped many of his former colleagues find employment in the UK and the US.
Going beyond examples, did academic networks generally play a role? Did early émigrés (leaving Germany in 1933/34) act as “bridging nodes” to help former colleagues emigrate?

Tough question: need
a) To measure relevant network.
b) Exogenous variation in bridging nodes.
To address a), we hand-collect detailed biographies for >all< academics of Jewish descent.

For identification: not everyone was dismissed in 1933, giving us individual-level exogenous variation in the push to emigrate within the same department. (More on IV, see paper.)
Result: ties to 10 additional early émigrés increase the probability of own emigration by 5 percentage points by 1939, and by 1945.
We also study destinations of emigration, focusing on the top 2 destinations (UK/US) vs all other countries. Early émigrés indeed act as bridging nodes by drawing their colleagues to the same set of countries.
The data allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the workings of professional networks:

1) We show some of the first systematic evidence of decay in social ties over time (more recent colleagues are more helpful than less recent ones).

2) The strength of ties also decays across space, even within cities.

3) For academics, professional networks are more important than community networks in their escape.

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More from @essobecker

5 Aug 20
Great initiative. I am First-Gen; attended same high school as @PMoserEcon in the deep countryside; my dad left school at age 14, my mum at age 16; dad worked for German rail; mother housewife; ended up at @UniBonn by accident because grandmother lived there (--> free housing).
Started studying maths and physics to become a teacher, following dad's advice: "become a teacher; public sector; safe job".
Met Mathias Hoffmann (@UZH_en) in maths lectures; his passion for Economics made me attend Econ lectures and that's how I ended up studying Economics.
Most important academic in my life was Reinhard Selten @NobelPrize @UniBonn. Amazing person. Humble. Wise. During UG studies wanted to do exchange year abroad, either @UCBerkeley or @ENSAEparis.
Selten: "Swim against the current, go to @ENSAEparis."
Read 10 tweets
17 Jul 20
(1/N) Pleasure to edit the brand-new

JDC UNHCR @Refugees @WorldBank Quarterly Digest on

"Long-Term Consequences of Forced Displacement"…

Part I: Intro

Part II: Summaries of papers by the amazing @zsarzin

highlighting three (selective) salient themes
Theme 1: Long-Term Impact of Refugees on Innovation and Technological Progress

Theme 2: Agglomeration Effects and Infrastructure Investments

Theme 3: Impact on Refugee Preferences
(3/N) Theme 1 papers (summarized by @zsarzin):

Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia
by @HornungErik
American Economic Review, Volume 104, Issue 1 (2014), Pages 84–122…
Read 11 tweets
12 Mar 20
German division and reunification and the “effects” of Communism

Some caveats from f/c JEP paper with @LukasMergele & Ludger Woessmann @ifo_Education…

Issue #1: The GDR can be spotted before it even existed. (1/13)
(2/13) Further economic outcomes
(3/13) Political preferences
Read 13 tweets
28 Jan 20
Our @voxeu column on forthcoming AER paper

"Forced Migration and Human Capital:
Evidence from Post-WWII Population Transfers"

with I.Grosfeld, P.Grosjean, N.Voigtländer, @ezhuravskaya…

@MonashBusiness @cage_warwick
@voxeu @ezhuravskaya @MonashBusiness @cage_warwick At the end of WWII, the Polish borders were redrawn, resulting in large-scale forced migration. Poles from Kresy had to move westwards, mostly into formerly German Western Territories (WT), but also to Central Poland. Image
@voxeu @ezhuravskaya @MonashBusiness @cage_warwick The expellees from Kresy were forced to leave behind most of their family possessions and were only allowed to take a small share of their belongings to their new homes. Image
Read 6 tweets
28 Jun 19
.@cage_warwick Economic History workshop today kicking off with Steve Broadberry: “Accounting for the Wealth of Nations: Recent Developments in Historical National Accounting” Image
1) Great Divergence had late medieval origins (Maddison right)
2) Regional variation within both continents
3) Little Divergence within Europe: reversal of fortunes between North Sea Area and Mediterranean Europe
4) Little Divergence within Asia: Japan overtaking China and India
Prsentation follows on from earlier work summarized here:…
Read 8 tweets
3 Aug 18
Here are some of my favourite paper >titles< (thread).
Might add more in the future.


The Pope and the Price of Fish

Frederick W. Bell
The American Economic Review
Vol. 58, No. 5 (Dec., 1968), pp. 1346-1350

De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum

George J. Stigler and Gary S. Becker
The American Economic Review
Vol. 67, No. 2 (Mar., 1977), pp. 76-90

Stars War in French Gastronomy

Olivier Gergaud, Valérie Smeets and Frédéric Warzynski…
Read 13 tweets

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