Linking decline in German car sales in Greece to massacres in WW-II…

A really interesting paper by Vasiliki Fouka and Hans-Joachim Voth of Universitat Pompeu Fabra .

The paper is summarised in voxeu. There is a higher decline in German car sales in those Greek areas where war attrocities by former was higher!

When Angela Merkel visited Athens earlier this year, local protesters upset about austerity measures and alleged German dominance depicted her on placards wearing a Nazi uniform. Cypriots demonstrating against the terms of their country’s bailout showed the stars of the EU surrounding a swastika. As the European debt crisis spreads, protests against austerity have become more frequent and often violent (Lynn, 2010 ). In southern Europe the use of Nazi-era symbols has become an integral part of protests against German-led policies in Europe, pointing out what demonstrators see as clear parallels between the present and the past. In times of crisis, EU policy is often seen through the lens of history – in this case, Germany’s history of military aggression and war crimes.

In our working paper, we examine empirically if a confluence between past and present conflict can affect consumer behaviour. We analyse the sales of German cars in Greece after the outbreak of the debt crisis. In times of political conflict, the market share of German brands declines. Particularly in areas where the German armed forces committed massacres during World War II, German car sales fall significantly more than in the rest of Greece.

Crazy to imagine this relationship after so many years…persistence of history on purchasing decisions… but we continue to ignore history..

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