Cooperation, defection and resistance in Nazi Germany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article uses the court records of a sample of individuals, aged between 15 and 62, tried for high treason in Nazi Germany to analyze a rare, real-world prisoner s-dilemma-like scenario that resisters faced once taken into custody: keep quiet and protect their collaborators or turn informant in the hope of obtaining leniency? We find that, although self-interest and defection to the authorities was the norm for most, significant rates of cooperation remained. We also find evidence that the size of the stake, age, education, beliefs, affiliations, and sense of community could play roles in facilitating cooperative behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125 - 139
Number of pages15
JournalExplorations in Economic History
Volume58
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this

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title = "Cooperation, defection and resistance in Nazi Germany",
abstract = "This article uses the court records of a sample of individuals, aged between 15 and 62, tried for high treason in Nazi Germany to analyze a rare, real-world prisoner s-dilemma-like scenario that resisters faced once taken into custody: keep quiet and protect their collaborators or turn informant in the hope of obtaining leniency? We find that, although self-interest and defection to the authorities was the norm for most, significant rates of cooperation remained. We also find evidence that the size of the stake, age, education, beliefs, affiliations, and sense of community could play roles in facilitating cooperative behavior.",
author = "Wayne Geerling and Magee, {Gary Bryan} and Brooks, {Robert Darren}",
year = "2015",
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language = "English",
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journal = "Explorations in Economic History",
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Cooperation, defection and resistance in Nazi Germany. / Geerling, Wayne; Magee, Gary Bryan; Brooks, Robert Darren.

In: Explorations in Economic History, Vol. 58, 2015, p. 125 - 139.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - This article uses the court records of a sample of individuals, aged between 15 and 62, tried for high treason in Nazi Germany to analyze a rare, real-world prisoner s-dilemma-like scenario that resisters faced once taken into custody: keep quiet and protect their collaborators or turn informant in the hope of obtaining leniency? We find that, although self-interest and defection to the authorities was the norm for most, significant rates of cooperation remained. We also find evidence that the size of the stake, age, education, beliefs, affiliations, and sense of community could play roles in facilitating cooperative behavior.

U2 - 10.1016/j.eeh.2015.04.002

DO - 10.1016/j.eeh.2015.04.002

M3 - Article

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EP - 139

JO - Explorations in Economic History

JF - Explorations in Economic History

SN - 0014-4983

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