German car sales in Greece: memories of WWII?

I greatly admire Hans-Joachim Voth, who does some of the most creative and interesting economic history research.

Here’s his latest working paper, with Vicky Fouka. The abstract follows.

Limited attention and selective memory are important forms of cognitive bias. We investigate how present events trigger selective recall, thereby changing economic behavior. The 2010-14 sovereign debt crisis in Greece created massive political conflict between the German and Greek governments. During the same period, German car sales declined sharply. Effects differed according to the actions of German troops during the occupation of Greece, 1941-44. Declines in German market share were much larger in areas where the Germans carried out massacres. Current events can reactivate past memories selectively, even in the same country, having a large effect on purchasing behavior.
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