Protestantism and Government Spending: a Negative Relationship? An Empirical Application to Swiss Cantons
AbstractRecent empirical growth literature suggests that cultural factors play a decisive role in economic development, while empirical evidence for their impact on government activity remains scant. In this paper, we conjecture based on Weber’s Protestant Ethics that ‚Protestant values’ such as self-reliance and austerity should affect both the size and scope of governments. More specifically, we hypothesize that smaller government budgets should be observable in more Protestant jurisdictions. Using a panel of sub-federal expenditure in 26 Swiss cantons from 1980 to 1998 we find supporting evidence, observing that the share of Protestants in the cantonal residential population exerts a spending dampening impact. Our results suggest that cultural factors should not be omitted from future public finance analyses.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 685.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 19 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
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Protestantism; Culture; Government Spending; Public Finance;
Other versions of this item:
- Justina AV Fischer & Friedrich Schneider, 2008. "Protestantism and Government Spending: a Negative Relationship? An Empirical Application to Swiss Cantons," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 2008-03, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
- Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
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