Academics at Risk: Professional Networks and High-Skilled Emigration from Nazi Germany (joint with Sascha Becker, Volker Lindenthal and Sharun Mukand)
We study the role of professional networks in facilitating emigration of Jewish academics who were dismissed from their jobs by the Nazi government. We use individual-level exogenous variation in the timing of dismissals to estimate the causal effect of networks. Academics with more ties to early émigrés (emigrated 1933-1934) were more likely to emigrate. Early émigrés functioned as “bridging nodes” that facilitated the emigration to their own destination. Furthermore, we find that emigration was only affected by professional networks, but not by community networks. Lastly, we provide some of the first empirical evidence of decay in social ties over time.