Can Public Policies Lower Religiosity? Evidence from School Choice in France, 1878–1902

30 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2016

See all articles by Raphael Franck

Raphael Franck

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics

Noel D. Johnson

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: August 2016

Abstract

This study analyses the effects of public policies on religiosity by focusing on the enrolment of pupils in French Catholic primary schools between 1878 and 1902. During this period, the government increased public spending and made school attendance free and mandatory until the age of 13. The empirical analysis presented here suggests that greater public spending had no substantial effect on the enrolment in Catholic schools. By contrast, mandatory schooling laws had a negative, but quantitatively limited, impact. The overall resilience of Catholic schooling is traced to the political divide created by the 1789 French Revolution.

Suggested Citation

Franck, Raphael and Johnson, Noel D., Can Public Policies Lower Religiosity? Evidence from School Choice in France, 1878–1902 (August 2016). The Economic History Review, Vol. 69, Issue 3, pp. 915-944, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2811885 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ehr.12277

Raphael Franck (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel

Noel D. Johnson

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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