Hans-Joachim Voth, 20 August 2021

In 1932, Hitler and his followers believed that marching through the streets in uniform would convince the German public to vote them into power. But did the flags, songs and stomping boots actually persuade people? Hans-Joachim Voth tells Tim Phillips how polling data (and the spread of a pandemic) reveal whether this type of propaganda actually worked.

Read more about the research behind this Vox Talk:

Caesmann, M, Caprettini, B, Voth, H and Yanagizawa-Drott, D. 2021. 'Going Viral: Propaganda, Persuasion and Polarization in 1932 Hamburg'. CEPR

Sebastian Doerr, José-Luis Peydró, Hans-Joachim Voth, 15 March 2019

Polarised politics in the wake of financial crises echo throughout modern history, but evidence of a causal link between economic downturns and populism is limited. This column shows that financial crisis-induced misery boosted far right-wing voting in interwar Germany. In towns and cities where many firms were exposed to failing banks, Nazi votes surged. In particular, places exposed to the one bank led by a Jewish chairman registered particularly strong increases of support – scapegoating Jews was easier with seemingly damning evidence of their negative influence.  

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