Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why Did the Netherlands Develop So Early? The Legacy of the Brethren of the Common Life

Contents:

Author Info

  • Akçomak, I. Semih

    ()
    (Middle East Technical University)

  • Webbink, Dinand

    ()
    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • ter Weel, Bas

    ()
    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

This research provides an explanation for high literacy, economic growth and societal developments in the Netherlands in the period before the Dutch Republic. We establish a link between the Brethren of the Common Life (BCL), a religious community founded by Geert Groote in the city of Deventer in the late fourteenth century, and the early development of the Netherlands. The BCL stimulated human capital accumulation by educating Dutch citizens without inducing animosity from the dominant Roman Catholic Church or other political rulers. Human capital had an impact on the structure of economic development in the period immediately after 1400. The educated workforce put pressure on the Habsburg monarchy leading to economic and religious resentment and eventually to the Revolt in 1572. The analyses show that the BCL contributed to the high rates of literacy in the Netherlands. In addition, there are positive effects of the BCL on book production and on city growth in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Finally, we find that cities with BCL-roots were more likely to join the Dutch Revolt. These findings are supported by regressions that use distance to Deventer as an instrument for the presence of BCL. The results are robust to a number of alternative explanations.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7167.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7167.

as in new window
Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Economic Journal, 2015
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7167

Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information:
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: economic development; literacy; religion; societal change;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. De Long, J. Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei, 1993. "Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution," Scholarly Articles 3451302, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Paul Sharp, 2011. "Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England," Discussion Papers, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics 11-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Raouf, BOUCEKKINE & David, DE LA CROIX & Dominique, PEETERS, 2005. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density and the Transition to Modern Growth," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques), Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques 2005023, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  4. Oded Galor, 2011. "Inequality, Human Capital Formation and the Process of Development," NBER Working Papers 17058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Buringh, Eltjo & Van Zanden, Jan Luiten, 2009. "Charting the “Rise of the West”: Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(02), pages 409-445, June.
  6. Davide Cantoni, 2011. "Adopting a new religion: The case of Protestantism in 16th Century Germany," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 1265, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," Scholarly Articles 3710663, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Becker, Sascha O. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 20255, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Glaeser, Edward L & Glendon, Spencer, 1998. "Incentives, Predestination and Free Will," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 429-43, July.
  10. Jörg Baten & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2007. "Book production and the onset of modern economic growth," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 1030, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Oded Galor, 2010. "The 2008 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture-Comparative Economic Development: Insights From Unified Growth Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 1-44, 02.
  12. Jeremiah E. Dittmar, 2011. "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of The Printing Press," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1133-1172.
  13. BAS J. P. van BAVEL & JAN LUITEN van ZANDEN, 2004. "The jump-start of the Holland economy during the late-medieval crisis, c.1350-c.1500 -super-1 ," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, Economic History Society, vol. 57(3), pages 503-532, 08.
  14. Roger Congleton, 2008. "America’s neglected debt to the Dutch, an institutional perspective," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 35-59, March.
  15. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Das Human Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," GE, Growth, Math methods, EconWPA 0410003, EconWPA.
  16. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2007. "From Farmers to Merchants, Conversions and Diaspora: Human Capital and Jewish History," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, 09.
  17. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7167. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.