Luis Bosshart

Luis Bosshart

PhD Candidate in Politics
London School of Economics

I work on political economy and use quantitative methods to study the past. I’m visiting the Department of Politics at New York University until Summer 2023. [CV]

Working Papers
Pandemic Shock and Economic Divergence: Political Economy Before and After the Black Death, with J. Dittmar
We document how the Black Death activated politics and led to economic divergence within Europe. Before the pandemic, economic development was similar in Eastern and Western German cities despite greater political fragmentation in the West. The pandemic precipitated a divergence that coincided with prior differences in politics. After the pandemic, construction and manufacturing fell by 1/3 in the East relative to underlying trends and the Western path. Politics institutionalizing local self-government advanced in the West, but not in the East. This divergence is observed across otherwise similar cities along historic borders and foreshadows a subsequent divergence in agriculture. 

Remnants of Fascism: Transitional Justice in postwar Germany
After the Second World War, millions of Germans were questioned about their political past at court. I document how denazification shaped the emerging political landscape in postwar Germany. Using three sources of plausibly exogenous variation in the extent of denazification, I find that denazification reduced the demand for nationalist politics. This difference is observed in neighboring and otherwise similar municipalities (i) across Allied occupation zones, (ii) across court-districts, and (iii) within districts. Tracing the effect over time, support for nationalist politics moves as party platforms evolve and new actors enter. The effect still accounts for 5-10% of the contemporary nationalist vote share across neighboring municipalities.

Work in Progress

Mass Media of Remembering: The role of TV in coming to terms with the Nazi past

Shifting Elites: State Formation before and after the Thirty Year’s War

Trade Shock and Political Development in Early Modern Poland, with J. Dittmar 

The Red Zone: Forced displacement and support for anti-refugee parties, with E. Dinas, F. Foos, and V. Fouka