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The Effect of Protestantism on Education Before the Industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia

15 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2010  

Sascha O. Becker

University of Warwick; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Ifo Institute for Economic Research

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

Date Written: January 2010

Abstract

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

Becker, Sascha O. and Woessmann, Ludger, The Effect of Protestantism on Education Before the Industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia (January 2010). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2910. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1539362

Sascha O. Becker (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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London, EC1V 3PZ
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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
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HOME PAGE: http://sobecker.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Germany

Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Munich
Germany

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

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