Devotion and Development: Religiosity, Education, and Economic Progress in 19th-Century France
49 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019 Last revised: 2 Nov 2020
Date Written: July 2019
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 (1870â??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: Suggested Citation