Protestantism and Education: Reading (the Bible) and Other Skills

33 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2011

See all articles by Timo Boppart

Timo Boppart

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Josef Falkinger

University of Zurich - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Volker Grossmann

University of Fribourg - Faculty of Economics and Social Science; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Date Written: January 31, 2011

Abstract

During industrialization, Protestants were more literate than Catholics. This paper investigates whether this fact may be led back to the intrinsic motivation of Protestants to read the bible and whether other education motives were involved as well. We employ a historical data set from Switzerland which allows us to differentiate between different cognitive skills: reading, numeracy, essay writing and Swiss history. We develop an estimation strategy to examine whether the impact of religious denomination was particularly large with respect to reading capabilities. We find support for this hypothesis. However, Protestants’ education motives went beyond reading the bible.

Keywords: Cognitive Skills, Education, Reading Capability, Religious Denomination, Protestant Reformation

JEL Classification: I200

Suggested Citation

Boppart, Timo and Falkinger, Josef and Grossmann, Volker, Protestantism and Education: Reading (the Bible) and Other Skills (January 31, 2011). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3314, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1752142

Timo Boppart

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Josef Falkinger

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Volker Grossmann (Contact Author)

University of Fribourg - Faculty of Economics and Social Science ( email )

Fribourg, CH 1700
Switzerland

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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