Weber Revisited: A Literature Review on the Possible Link between Protestantism, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth

24 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2020

See all articles by Ola Honningdal Grytten

Ola Honningdal Grytten

Institutt for samfunnsøkonomi / Department of Economics Norges Handelshøyskole / Norwegian School of Economics

Date Written: June 4, 2020

Abstract

The present paper looks at the Weber-Tawney thesis on the positive link between Protestant ethic and economic growth. Both scholars observed that Protestant areas in the Western world seemed to gain faster and more wealth than areas with less Protestants, and largely explained this by a special mentality fostering entrepreneurship in Protestant thinking.

By conducting a literature study of research in the area, the paper concludes that despite wide debate, there is a significant acceptance that there is a statistical link between religious affiliation and growth.

However, scholars tend to disagree on the causal relationships. Still, the bulk of the literature seems to agree that the Reformation paved way for entrepreneurship and economic growth in one way or another. The paper seeks to map the most important explanations and the arguments behind them.

Keywords: Weber, Reformation, Protestantism, Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth

JEL Classification: B15, B25, N10, N30, N90, O10, O40, O47, P10, P30, P41, P47, P50

Suggested Citation

Grytten, Ola Honningdal, Weber Revisited: A Literature Review on the Possible Link between Protestantism, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth (June 4, 2020). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 08/2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3622917 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3622917

Ola Honningdal Grytten (Contact Author)

Institutt for samfunnsøkonomi / Department of Economics Norges Handelshøyskole / Norwegian School of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

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