Want to Get Rich? Don't Be an anti-Semite

Study finds that Germans who live in areas where Jews have been persecuted invest less - and profit less.

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Anti-Semites invest less in the stock market and earn less, study finds (illustrative).Credit: Dreamstime

Being an anti-Semite isn't profitable, according to a recently published study.

The study, titled "Distrust in Finance Lingers: Jewish Persecution and Households' Investments" found that people who live in areas where Jews have been persecuted throughout history invest less in the stock market and often distrust the financial sector.

According to the study, Germans who live in areas where Jews had the greatest chances of being sent to concentration camps during World War II are 7.5 percent less likely to invest in the stock market than those in other regions – even today. Germans who live in districts where pogroms occurred during the Black Death (in the 14th century) are 12 percent less likely to invest.

"Those living in counties with higher historical violence against Jews trust the stock market significantly less than others," Michael Weber, of University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Francesco D’Acunto, of the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business, and Marcel Prokopczuk, of Zeppelin University write.

They contend that “the legacy of Jewish persecution – distrust of finance – has hindered generations of Germans from accumulating financial wealth."

In other words, the study says, persecuting minorities "reduces not only the long-term wealth of the persecuted, but of the persecutors as well.”