Did Nazis save more? Household saving and ideology in pre-war National Socialist Germany

Sep 2013 | 119

Authors: Robin Winkler

It is commonly thought that the rapid increase in household saving during the early years of National Socialism was partly driven by ideological factors.  On this view, the popularity of the regime allowed it to exert 'moral suasion' on households to save more than they might have done in the absence of such indoctrination.  This paper employs the previously unpublished raw data from a household budget survey conducted in 1937 to identify ideological heterogeneity at the household level.  Assuming that households' responsiveness to the regime's saving propaganda was a function of their exogenous ideological commitment to National Socialism, the paper tests the hypothesis that Nazi households saved more than others.  The new evidence presented here does not confirm this hypothesis.

JEL Codes: N14, D12

Keywords: German economic history, National Socialism, household saving

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