The Effect of Protestantism on Education Before the Industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia
15 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 2010
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.
Keywords: education, Protestantism, pre-industrialization
JEL Classification: I21, N33, Z12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation