Irena Grosfeld, Seyhun Orcan Sakalli, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 03 October 2019

It is commonly argued that political instability increases the likelihood of civil conflicts, while economic downturns can trigger civil conflict and aggravate ethnic violence. This column examines how political and economic factors interact to drive pogroms in an environment of widespread antisemitism, using data from the Russian Empire of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It finds that pogrom waves took place when and only when economic shocks coincided with political turmoil, and that occupational segregation between the Jews and the majority played an important role in triggering ethnic violence.  

Mark Koyama, 23 July 2018

Some research suggests violence towards minority groups is exacerbated during times of economic stress. Mark Koyama discusses his work on when the tendency to target minority groups becomes manifest. Using 1000 years' date on pogroms across Europe, he shows that the likelihood of scapegoating minority groups increased by 50% in seasons when harvests were likely to be poor.

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