50 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011
Date Written: February 16, 2011
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: 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