Stephanos Vlachos

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Vienna


About me

I’m an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Vienna, Austria. My primary research interest is in the political economy of radical movements. 

I have investigated both the demand- and supply-side of electoral politics by looking at the origins of voter preferences, how voter beliefs are formed, and how politicians can use campaign strategies to persuade the electorate.

I mainly study these questions empirically using historical data.
I am of the view that sufficient knowledge of historical events can help identify quasi-natural experiments that can be exploited to answer a broad range of questions that are policy relevant nowadays.

Research fields 

Political Economy, Public Economics, Economic History

Populist Persuasion in Electoral Campaigns: Evidence from Bryan’s Unique Whistle-Stop Tour (with J. Buggle)
The Economic Journal, Volume 133, Issue 649, January 2023, Pages 493–515; Online Appendix; Replication files; Working paper; Broadstreet blog

Anti-Muslim Voting and Media Coverage of Immigrant Crimes (with M. Couttenier, S. Hatte, and M. Thoenig)
The Review of Economics and Statistics, Volume 106, Issue 2, March 2024, Pages 576–585;
Online appendix; Replication files; Working paper; VoxEU column

On war and political radicalization: Evidence from forced conscription into the Wehrmacht
European Economic Review, Volume 144, May 2022, 104086; Online appendix; Replication files; Working paper

In this paper, we study the link between self-interest and morality by leveraging a historical context with extremely high stakes: the introduction of "Economic Aryanization" in the city of Bordeaux, France, during World War II. This policy aimed to “permanently remove the Jewish influence in the economy” through the expropriation of Jewish firms. Regional authorities had significant autonomy in implementing the policy, which left substantial scope for competing firms to influence the procedure. We combine information on the universe of expropriated Jewish firms in the city of Bordeaux with the 1939 Yellow Pages to reconstruct the market structure of sectors in which Jewish firms operated. Our baseline estimation indicates that, conditional on a wide array of covariates, the risk of expropriation for a Jewish firm with a gentile competitor in its street is 1.7 times greater than for a competing Jewish firm with no gentile competitor close by. The reduced-form results are confirmed by estimating a structural model in which distance between gentile and Jewish competitors is one of the drivers of denunciation. The effect is not present when looking at Jewish competitors.

Why do people vote? Are elections a device through which voters discipline politicians? Or are they a way for voters to express their preferences? How can the media influence the political process? In this course we try to answer such questions both theoretically and empirically.

The aim of this course is to introduce the measures used in applied economic history, their theoretical underpinnings, and their implications in empirical research. The course covers both theoretical and empirical research.


Stephanos Vlachos
Department of Economics
University of Vienna