Was Weber wrong? A human capital theory of protestant economic history*
Becker, Sascha O. and Woessmann, Ludger. (2009) Was Weber wrong? A human capital theory of protestant economic history*. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol.124 (No.2). pp. 531-596. ISSN 0033-5533Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/qjec.2009.124.2.531
Max Weber attributed the higher economic prosperity of Protestant regions to a Protestant work ethic. We provide an alternative theory: Protestant economies prospered because instruction in reading the Bible generated the human capital crucial to economic prosperity. We test the theory using county-level data from late-nineteenth-century Prussia, exploiting the initial concentric dispersion of the Reformation to use distance to Wittenberg as an instrument for Protestantism. We find that Protestantism indeed led to higher economic prosperity, but also to better education. Our results are consistent with Protestants' higher literacy accounting for most of the gap in economic prosperity.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Quarterly Journal of Economics|
|Page Range:||pp. 531-596|
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