“Kinder, Küche und Kirche: Family policies and fertility in the Third Reich" joint with Robert Stelter (University of Basel)

Category: Quantitative Economic Policy Seminar
When: 23 June 2022
, 14:00
 - 15:15
Where: Zoom
Speaker: Thomas Baudin

Abstract: Right after accessing power, Nazis implemented very pro-active family policies with the intention to reduce female labor market participation. With the Ehestandsdarlehen ("Law for encouragement of Marriage), they wanted to cure massive unemployment and develop the Aryan population. This law constitutes one of the most distortive family policy implemented in the history. In this paper, we quantify the effect of the Nazi family policy on fertility and marriage in Germany both in the short and the long run. We show that in the short run, the arrival of the Nazi had a positive effect on fertility while but that in the long run, women treated by the Ehestandsdarlehen had a lower completed fertility, everything else equal. We argue that this negative effect was mainly driven by the strong punishment of childlessness out of marriage incentivizing singles to form low quality unions. The Ehestandsdarlehen contributed to the German dynamics toward very low fertility rates.