A paper co-authored by Jean Lacroix (RITM, Université Paris-Saclay), Toke Aidt (University of Cambridge) and Pierre-Guillaume Méon (Université libre de Bruxelles) has been awarded the Oliver Williamson Best Paper Award by the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, for research that examines how connections may explain elite persistence in new democracies.

The paper, “‘From Connections to Persistence: Evidence from Political Purges in World War II France” uses archival research (enabled by a grant from the British Academy) combined with modern econometric methods to research a fundamental question in Political Economics: How do some elites that took part in an autocratic regime remain in power in new democracies. To answer this question, the paper investigates the post World War II purges set up to judge parliamentarians that supported the Vichy regime. The authors leverage the fact that each parliamentarian was judged twice to assess the importance of connections in this process. As an illustration, the connections of Law graduates, to the Higher Court increased their clearance rate by 10 percentage points.

The Society for Institutional & Organizational Economics (SIOE) awards the Oliver E. Williamson Best Conference Paper as a recognition of the best work presented in its meeting. In past years award winners have gone on to publication in many top journals. The SIOE promotes research using approaches drawn from economics, organization theory, law, political science, and other social sciences. More on the research of this paper can be found in this video presentation during the 2021 Online Economic History Workshop.

The paper:  Aidt, T., Lacroix, J., Meon, P-G. The Origins of Elite Persistence: Evidence from Political Purges in post-World War II France, (2022) CWPE2232.