Maria Petrova (Program on Political Economy Seminar)


Thursday, September 23, 2021, 4:30pm to 5:45pm


Zoom & in person: CGIS Knafel, room K354

Today's speaker: Maria Petrova (Barcelona Graduate School of Economics), "Bombs, Broadcasts and Resistance: Allied Intervention and Domestic Opposition to the Nazi Regime During World War II" (with Maja Adena, Ruben Enikolopov, and Hans-Joachim Voth)

Download paper here (pdf)


Can bombs and broadcasts instigate resistance against a foreign regime? We examine the canonical case of bombing designed to undermine enemy morale—the Allied bomber offensive against Germany during WWII. Our evidence shows that both air power and the airwaves undermined regime support. Using plausibly exogenous variation in weather, we show that places that suffered more bombardment saw noticeably more opposition. Bombing also reduced the combat motivation of soldiers: fighter pilots from bombed-out cities performed markedly less well after raids. We also provide evidence that exposure to BBC radio, especially together with bombing, increased the number of resistance cases.

Co-sponsored by FAS and IQSS, the Program on Political Economy (PE) supports research-related activities that integrate the study of economics and politics, whether by studying economic behavior in the political process or political behavior in the marketplace. In general, positive political economy is concerned with showing how observed differences among institutions affect political and economic outcomes in various social, economic, and political systems and how the institutions themselves change and develop in response to individual and collective beliefs, preferences, and strategies.

Zoom links for Political Economy Seminar are distributed via the seminar's mailing list. You can subscribe to the PE Mailing List here.

See the seminar's full schedule at the Program on Political Economy page.

All interested faculty and students are invited to attend.