London School of Economics
I work on political economy and study how institutions shape political and economic development over time. I’m currently a PhD candidate in the Government Department at the London School of Economics. [CV]
Political Competition and Economic Divergence: European Development Before and After the Black Death, with J. Dittmar
We document how the Black Death activated political competition 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 led to a divergence that reflected regional 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.
Shifting Norms and Political Demand: Denazification in postwar Germany
Can large-scale interventions shift political norms? In a major denazification program, millions of Germans were questioned about their political past by courts. I document how denazification shaped the emerging political landscape in postwar Germany. Using three identification strategies, I find that broader denazification reduced the demand for nationalist policies and changed social norms. Differences seem driven by mass rather than elite cases and political consequences are observed absent major differences in punishment. The results indicate that the breadth of transitional justice may be more important than its severity. More broadly, the findings illustrate how deliberate public interventions may shift social norms and political demand at scale.
Work in Progress
War Made the Absolutist State: State Formation and the Thirty Years‘ War, with M. Weigand
Trade Shock and Political Development in Early Modern Poland, with J. Dittmar
Mass Media of Remembering: The Role of TV in Coming to Terms with the Nazi Past