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May 25, 2023: Ana Tur Prats (University of California, Merced)

The Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War

We study the long-lasting effects of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), between Nationalists and Republicans, on social capital and political attitudes. To this end, we use geo-located data on historical mass graves, disaggregated modern-day survey data on trust and electoral results (1977-2019). For identification, we exploit deviations from the initial military plans of attack in an IV framework and a geographical RDD along the frontline of Aragon. Our cultural results reveal a significantly negative relationship between political violence and generalized trust. Politically, we find more support for right-wing parties during the democratic period in places where Nationalist (Francoist) repression was higher. In terms of mechanisms of persistence—using our own survey and data on street names—we find stronger anti-Franco attitudes and collective memory about the war in formerly Republican areas, as well as more Francoist street names in places that faced more repression historically.