Education Promoted Secularization

28 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2014

See all articles by Sascha O. Becker

Sascha O. Becker

Monash University - Department of Economics; University of Warwick

Markus Nagler

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg

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

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

Why did substantial parts of Europe abandon the institutionalized churches around 1900? Empirical studies using modern data mostly contradict the traditional view that education was a leading source of the seismic social phenomenon of secularization. We construct a unique panel dataset of advanced-school enrollment and Protestant church attendance in German cities between 1890 and 1930. Our cross-sectional estimates replicate a positive association. By contrast, in panel models where fixed effects account for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, education – but not income or urbanization – is negatively related to church attendance. In panel models with lagged explanatory variables, educational expansion precedes reduced church attendance.

Keywords: Education, Germany, History, Secularization

JEL Classification: I20, N33, Z12

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Nagler, Markus and Woessmann, Ludger, Education Promoted Secularization (March 2014). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9884, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2444905

Sascha O. Becker (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
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Australia

University of Warwick ( email )

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

Markus Nagler

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg ( email )

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Erlangen, DE Bavaria 91054
Germany

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

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Munich
Germany
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++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

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Munich, 80539
Germany

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