Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic

The Economic Journal, 2010, 120(547), 890-918

32 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2004 Last revised: 22 Jul 2018

See all articles by Benito Arruñada

Benito Arruñada

Pompeu Fabra University - Department of Economics and Business; Barcelona GSE

Date Written: September 3, 2010

Abstract

This article develops two hypotheses about economically-relevant values of Christian believers, according to which Protestants should work more and more effectively, as in the “work ethic” argument of Max Weber, or display a stronger “social ethic” that would lead them to monitor each other’s conduct, support political and legal institutions and hold more homogeneous values. Tests using current survey data confirm substantial partial correlations and possible different “effects” in mutual social control, institutional performance and homogeneity of values but no difference in work ethics. Protestantism therefore seems conducive to capitalist economic development, not by the direct psychological route of the Weberian work ethic but rather by promoting an alternative social ethic that facilitates impersonal trade.

Keywords: Religion, values, Weber, institutions, enforcement

JEL Classification: D23, E0, N4, O39, Z1

Suggested Citation

Arruñada, Benito, Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic (September 3, 2010). The Economic Journal, 2010, 120(547), 890-918. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1397223 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1397223

Benito Arruñada (Contact Author)

Pompeu Fabra University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Department of Economics and Business
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
+34 93 542 25 72 (Phone)
+34 93 542 17 46 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.upf.edu/~arrunada

Barcelona GSE ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

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