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Economic Aspects of Genocides, Other Mass Atrocities, and Their Preventions$
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Charles H. Anderton and Jurgen Brauer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199378296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199378296.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 May 2021

Identity and Incentives

Identity and Incentives

An Economic Interpretation of the Holocaust

(p.318) 14 Identity and Incentives
Economic Aspects of Genocides, Other Mass Atrocities, and Their Preventions

Raul Caruso

Charles H. Anderton

Jurgen Brauer

Oxford University Press

Contrary to still widely held public opinion, a substantial number of purposeful (“rational”) actors played specific roles in bringing about an outcome that can be meaningfully interpreted in an economic conceptual framework. This chapter offers an interpretation of the Holocaust along the lines of economic theory and public choice. The Holocaust was an inhumane and brutal genocide, a gigantic predatory enterprise shaped and engineered by a complex institutional machinery. The chapter proposes a general interpretation based on the inclusion of identity-associated elements in the utility functions of Nazis. Under the Nazi regime, the production and strengthening of Nazi identity was a matter of political economy. In addition, interpretations of Aryanization (appropriation of Jewish property) and the running of extermination camps are provided.

Keywords:   Holocaust, identity, expropriation, dehumanization, Aryanization, extermination camps

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