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CEP discussion paper

Voting behaviour and public employment in Nazi Germany


This paper analyses whether the German National Socialists used economic policies to reward their voters after their rise to power in 1933. Using data on public employment in the armed forces, public administrations and related professions from the German occupational censuses in 1925, 1933 and 1939 and addressing the potential endogeneity of the National Socialist vote share in 1933 by way of an instrumental variables strategy based on a similar party in Imperial Germany 1912, I find that cities with higher National Socialist vote shares experienced a relative increase in public employment: for every additional percentage point in the vote share, the number of public employment jobs increased by around 3.5 percent. When measured relative to the total population, a one standard-deviation increase in the 1933 vote share led to an increase in the share of public employment of a quarter of a standard deviation.


Stephan E. Maurer

9 February 2015     Paper Number CEPDP1326

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.