At the 2022 EHES Conference in Groningen, Felix Kersting (Humboldt University Berlin) won the Gino Luzzatto Dissertation Competition for to the best PhD Dissertation on any subject relating to the economic history of Europe, defended during the period July 2019 to June 2021, for his dissertation on The Political Economy of Social Identity in 19th Century Germany.
The dissertation studies the economic and political causes and consequences of changes in social identities in 19thcentury Germany.
The first chapter provides individual-level evidence for successful nation-building in cities that became part of Prussia in 1815.
In the second chapter I show that the socialist party politically gained from Bismarck’s carrot and stick policy.
The results of the third chapter indicate no political polarization, but a strong migration response as consequences of the “grain invasion” in Prussia.
The fourth chapter revisits Max Weber’s famous Protestant Ethic by showing that national conflict instead of Protestantism mattered for economic development in late 19th century Germany.