Economic History Workshop - Discrimination, Managers, and Firm Performance: Evidence from “Aryanizations” in Nazi Germany

Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 1600 - 1730

Venue: Asia Global Institute, MB 328, 3/F Main Building, HKU

Many episodes of discrimination have led to the exclusion of highly qualified individuals from important positions in the economy. This workshop will explore how we may quantify economic losses resulting from these episodes. Specifically, Professor Fabian Waldinger will investigate how the forced removal of managers with Jewish origins in Nazi Germany affected large firms.The loss of Jewish managers significantly reduced the stock prices of affected firms, for at least 10 years after the Nazis came to power. Professor Fabian Waldinger’s paper finds strong stock price reductions for firms where the removal of the Jewish managers led to large decreases in managerial connections to other firms and in the number of university-educated managers. Dividend payments and returns on assets also declined. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the aggregate market valuation of firms listed in Berlin fell by 1.8 percent of German GNP. His findings imply that discrimination can lead to first-order economic losses.

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Fabian Waldinger
Professor of Economics
University of Munich

Speaker’s Biography:

Fabian Waldinger is a professor in the Economics Department at the University of Munich. He previously held positions at the London School of Economics and the University of Warwick.

His research interests include economics of science and innovation, economic history, and labour economics. In particular, he combines the collection of large data sets, often from archival sources with the use of modern micro-econometric techniques to understand the driving forces of scientific productivity and the production and allocation of talent. His research has been published in leading economics journals such as the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Political Economy, and the Review of Economic Studies. He has won a number of awards for his research, including a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), the Philip Leverhulme Prize, and the Selten Prize.