Resource title

Was Weber wrong?: a human capital theory of protestant economic history

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Resource description

Max Weber attributed the higher economic prosperity of Protestant regions to a Protestant work ethic. We provide an alternative theory, where Protestant economies prospered because instruction in reading the Bible generated the human capital crucial to economic prosperity. County-level data from late 19thcentury Prussia reveal that Protestantism was indeed associated not only with higher economic prosperity, but also with better education. We find that Protestants higher literacy can account for the whole gap in economic prosperity. Results hold when we exploit the initial concentric dispersion of the Reformation to use distance to Wittenberg as an instrument for Protestantism.

Resource author

Sascha O. Becker, Ludger Woessmann

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Resource publish date

Resource language

eng

Resource content type

text/html

Resource resource URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10419/26032

Resource license

Adapt according to the presented license agreement and reference the original author.