Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia

39 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2008

See all articles by Sascha O. Becker

Sascha O. Becker

Monash University - Department of Economics; University of Warwick

Ludger Woessmann

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

Martin Luther urged each town to have a girls' school so that girls would learn to read the Gospel, evoking a surge of building girls' schools in Protestant areas. Using county- and town-level data from the first Prussian census of 1816, we show that a larger share of Protestants decreased the gender gap in basic education. This result holds when using only the exogenous variation in Protestantism due to a county's or town's distance to Wittenberg, the birthplace of the Reformation. Similar results are found for the gender gap in literacy among the adult population in 1871.

Keywords: gender gap, education, Protestantism

JEL Classification: I21, J16, N33, Z12

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Woessmann, Ludger, Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3837. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1305821 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Sascha O. Becker

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3
Australia

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich
Germany
++49 89 9224 1699 (Phone)
++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Schackstr. 4
Munich, 80539
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
39
Abstract Views
658
PlumX Metrics