The Effect of Protestantism on Education Before the Industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia
Sascha O. Becker
University of Warwick; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2910
This paper uses recently discovered data on nearly 300 Prussian counties in 1816 to show that Protestantism led to more schools and higher school enrolment already before the industrialization. This evidence supports the human capital theory of Protestant economic history of Becker and Woessmann (2009), where Protestantism first led to better education, which in turn facilitated industrial development. It rules out that the existing end-of-19th-century evidence can be explained by a Weberian explanation, where a Protestant work ethic first led to industrialization which then increased the demand for education.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: education, Protestantism, pre-industrialization
JEL Classification: I21, N33, Z12
Date posted: January 27, 2010
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