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 Spring 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. 

Denazification and Political Change: Transitional Justice in postwar Germany
What are the effects of mass transitional justice programs on new democracies? In a major denazifaction 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 sources of plausibly exogenous variation, I find that the extent of denazification reduced the demand for nationalist politics and changed social norms. This difference is observed in neighboring and otherwise similar municipalities (i) across Allied occupation zones, (ii) across court-districts, and (iii) within court-districts. Differences are driven by mass rather than elite cases.

Work in Progress

Shifting Elites: State Formation Before and After the Thirty Year’s War

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

Red Zones: Forced Displacement and Support for Far-Right Parties, with E. Dinas, F. Foos, and V. Fouka