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Religious Orders and Growth Through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England


Thomas Barnebeck Andersen


University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Jeanet Sinding Bentzen


University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Carl‐Johan Dalgaard


University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Paul Richard Sharp


University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

February 16, 2011

Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 11-07

Abstract:     
We advance the hypothesis that cultural values such as high work ethic and thrift, “the Protestant ethic” according to MaxWeber, may have been diffused long before the Reformation, thereby importantly affecting the pre-industrial growth record. The source of pre-Reformation Protestant ethic, according to the proposed theory, was the Catholic Order of Cistercians. Using county-level data for England we find empirically that the frequency of Cistercian monasteries influenced county-level comparative development until 1801; that is, long after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The pre-industrial development of England may thus have been propelled by a process of growth through cultural change.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: Protestant Ethic, Malthusian Population Dynamics, Economic Development

JEL Classification: N13, O11, Z12

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Date posted: February 21, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck and Bentzen, Jeanet Sinding and Dalgaard, Carl‐Johan and Sharp, Paul Richard, Religious Orders and Growth Through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England (February 16, 2011). Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 11-07. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1763724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1763724

Contact Information

Thomas Barnebeck Andersen
University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )
Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark
Jeanet Bentzen
University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )
Copenhagen University Library
Licenssekretariatet Nørre Alle 49
DK-2200 Copenhagen N.
Denmark
Carl-Johan Lars Dalgaard (Contact Author)
University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )
Copenhagen University Library
Licenssekretariatet Nørre Alle 49
DK-2200 Copenhagen N.
Denmark
+45 3532 4407 (Phone)
Paul Richard Sharp
University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )
DK-5230 Odense
Denmark
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