Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Scars of war: the legacy of WW1 deaths on civic capital and combat motivation

Carozzi, Felipe ORCID: 0000-0002-0458-5531, Pinchbeck, Edward William and Repetto, Luca (2023) Scars of war: the legacy of WW1 deaths on civic capital and combat motivation. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1940). London School of Economics and Political Science. Centre for Economic Performance, London, UK.

[img] Text - Published Version
Download (9MB)


What drives soldiers to risk their life in combat? We show that the legacy of war creates lasting conditions that encourage younger generations to take greater risks when fighting for their country. Using individual-level data from over 4 million British war records, we show that WWI deaths deeply affected local communities and the behaviour of the next generation of soldiers. Servicemen from localities that suffered heavier losses in WWI were more likely to die or to be awarded military honours for bravery in WW2. To explain these findings, we document that WWI deaths promoted civic capital in the inter-war period - as demonstrated by the creation of lasting war memorials, veterans' associations and charities, and increased voter participation. In addition, we show that sons of soldiers killed in WWI were more likely to die in combat, suggesting that both community-level and family-level transmission of values were important in this context.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D74 - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
D - Microeconomics > D9 - Intertemporal Choice and Growth > D91 - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z10 - General
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2024 15:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:32

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics