How Hitler’s roads won German hearts and minds?

Hans-Joachim Voth takes us to this really interesting episode of political economy history.

He explains how construction of German road system by Hitler (called Autobahn; though some myths are explained here) led to rise in political support:

The Hitler government built the world’s first nationwide motorway network. We examine the impact of road-building on the popularity of the Nazi regime. Using shifts in electoral support between 1933 and 1934, we conclude that ‘pork barrel’ spending worked in reducing opposition to the regime – wherever the new roads ran, fewer Germans voted against the government in elections and plebiscites. At least part of the regime’s popularity after 1934 can be explained by the popularity of the Autobahn.

 Nice bit..

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