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Contribution Details

Type Working Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Highway to Hitler
Organization Unit
  • Nico Voigtländer
  • Hans-Joachim Voth
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Series Name Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number 156
ISSN 1664-7041 (P) 1664-705X (E)
Number of Pages 37
Date 2014
Abstract Text Can infrastructure investment win "hearts and minds"? We analyze a famous case in the early stages of dictatorship - the building of the motorway network in Nazi Germany. The Autobahn was one of the most important projects of the Hitler government. It was intended to reduce unemployment, and was widely used for propaganda purposes. We examine its role in increasing support for the NS regime by analyzing new data on motorway construction and the 1934 plebiscite, which gave Hitler great powers as head of state. Our results suggest that road building was highly effective, reducing opposition to the nascent Nazi regime.
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Keywords Political economy, infrastructure spending, dictatorships, pork‐barrel politics, Nazi regime, Nationalsozialismus, Drittes Reich, Autobahn, Diktatur, Politische Ökonomie, Infrastruktur, Infrastrukturpolitik, Deutsches Reich