Devotion and Development: Religiosity, Education, and Economic Progress in 19th-Century France

49 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019 Last revised: 2 Nov 2020

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Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

This paper studies when religion can hamper diffusion of knowledge and economic development, and through which mechanism. I examine Catholicism in France during the Second Industrial Revolution (1870รข??1914). In this period, technology became skill-intensive, leading to the introduction of technical education in primary schools. I find that more religious locations had lower economic development after 1870. Schooling appears to be the key mechanism: more religious areas saw a slower adoption of the technical curriculum and a push for religious education. In turn, religious education was negatively associated with industrial development 10 to 15 years later, when schoolchildren entered the labor market.

Keywords: Human Capital, Industrialization, Religiosity

JEL Classification: J24, N13, Z12

Suggested Citation

Squicciarini, Mara, Devotion and Development: Religiosity, Education, and Economic Progress in 19th-Century France (July 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13877, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3428401

Mara Squicciarini (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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