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Religious orders and growth through cultural change in pre-industrial England

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Author Info

  • Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck

    ()
    (Department of Business and Economics)

  • Bentzen, Jeanet

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Sharp, Paul

    ()
    (Department of Business and Economics)

Abstract

We hypothesize that cultural appreciation of hard work and thrift, the "Protestant ethic" according to Max Weber, had a pre-Reformation origin. The proximate source of these values was, according to the proposed theory, the Catholic Order of Cistercians. In support, we document that the Cistercians influenced comparative regional development across English counties, even after the monasteries were dissolved in the 1530s. Moreover, we find that the values emphasized by Weber are comparatively more pervasive in regions where Cistercian monasteries were found historically. Pre-industrial development in England may thus have been propelled by a process of growth through cultural change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark in its series Discussion Papers of Business and Economics with number 12/2012.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 03 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2012_012

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Postal: Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Phone: 65 50 32 33
Fax: 65 50 32 37
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Web page: http://www.sdu.dk/ivoe
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Keywords: Cultural values; protestant ethic; economic development;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Hvor dybe er tillidens historiske rødder?
    by Christian Bjørnskov in Punditokraterne on 2011-05-13 15:59:56
  2. The Cistercians, culture, and economic development
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-07-26 14:13:00
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Cited by:
  1. Akçomak, I. Semih & Webbink, Dinand & ter Weel, Bas, 2013. "Why Did the Netherlands Develop So Early? The Legacy of the Brethren of the Common Life," IZA Discussion Papers 7167, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Nunn, Nathan, 2014. "Historical Development," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 7, pages 347-402 Elsevier.
  3. Jean-François Carpantier & Anastasia Litina, 2014. "Dissecting the Act of God - An Exploration of the Effect of Religion on Economic Activity," CREA Discussion Paper Series 14-09, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  4. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Cultural Diversity, Geographical Isolation, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," Center for Development Economics, Department of Economics, Williams College 2011-10, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, 2013. "Origins of Religiousness: The Role of Natural Disasters," Discussion Papers 13-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.

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