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Religious Orders and Growth Through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England

50 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011  

Thomas Barnebeck Andersen

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Jeanet Sinding Bentzen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Carl‐Johan Dalgaard

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Paul Richard Sharp

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Date Written: February 16, 2011

Abstract

We advance the hypothesis that cultural values such as high work ethic and thrift, “the Protestant ethic” according to MaxWeber, may have been diffused long before the Reformation, thereby importantly affecting the pre-industrial growth record. The source of pre-Reformation Protestant ethic, according to the proposed theory, was the Catholic Order of Cistercians. Using county-level data for England we find empirically that the frequency of Cistercian monasteries influenced county-level comparative development until 1801; that is, long after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The pre-industrial development of England may thus have been propelled by a process of growth through cultural change.

Keywords: Protestant Ethic, Malthusian Population Dynamics, Economic Development

JEL Classification: N13, O11, Z12

Suggested Citation

Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck and Bentzen, Jeanet Sinding and Dalgaard, Carl‐Johan and Sharp, Paul Richard, Religious Orders and Growth Through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England (February 16, 2011). Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 11-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1763724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1763724

Thomas Barnebeck Andersen

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

Jeanet Bentzen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

Carl-Johan Lars Dalgaard (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark
+45 3532 4407 (Phone)

Paul Richard Sharp

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

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