DP18109 The Deep Roots of Vaccine Hesitancy in Germany: The 19th-Century Naturopathic Movement
This paper studies the historical roots of vaccine hesitancy in the context of Germany. Using digitized data on the existence of naturopathic associations in Germany in the year 1900, we first show that counties with a large number of naturopathic associations in 1900 were disproportionally located in East Germany. Furthermore, counties with a higher number of naturopathic associations in 1900 have significantly lower COVID-19 vaccination rates today. Our IV estimates suggest that the long-term effects of the naturopathic movement can explain about half of the East–West gap in COVID-19 vaccination rates.