Björn Brey

Interdisciplinary seminars
History and economics seminar

Björn Brey

Université Libre de Bruxelles
On the great depression and nazi support in Germany 1928-32

IBD Amphi

Îlot Bernard du Bois - Amphithéâtre

5-9 boulevard Maurice Bourdet
13001 Marseille

Wednesday, November 17 2021| 2:30pm to 4:00pm

Jean Boutier: jean.boutier[at]
Alice Fabre: alice.fabre[at]
Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa: cecilia.garcia-penalosa[at]
Alain Trannoy: alain.trannoy[at]
Arundhati Virmani: arundhati.virmani[at]


What were the economic and political effects of the trade collapse that affected Germany during the Great Depression? Using novel micro-level data we find causal evidence that the decline in German exports considerably contributed to the decline in economic activity and employment during the Great Depression, accounting for 23% of the total observed output contraction across industries. The effect of the export shock on the rise of the NSDAP is instead more nuanced. While we find that exposure to the shock increased support for the NSDAP among blue collar workers, we find no such effect among the self employed, and a negative impact on white collar workers. This finding is in line with the NSDAP autarkic policies and the party’s push to replace unemployment benefits with a public work (“work and bread”) programs that especially benefitted unskilled workers. Our analysis also uncovers an important role for spatial spillovers, with declines in domestic demand for agricultural products playing an important role in increasing support for the NSDAP in rural areas.

Discussant: Marcel Boldorf (Université Lumière Lyon II, CIERA)

More information

More information on Björn Brey


Seminar in hybrid format: the speaker will be present at IBD, but it is possible to follow his presentation remotely, via ZOOM.
ZOOM link:

  • Meeting ID: 933 9351 1040
  • Secret code: BB