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Development and Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism

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  • Mark Koyama
  • Jean-Paul Carvalho

Abstract

Jewish emancipation in nineteenth century Europe produced drastically different responses. In Germany, a liberal variant known as Reform developed, while ultra-Orthodox Judaism emerged in eastern Europe. We develop a model of religious organization which explains this polarization. In developed regions, religious authorities embrace the prospect of cultural integration by relaxing prohibitions and benefitting from greater financial contributions. In poorer regions, religious authorities adopt a strategy of cultural resistance, enforcing prohibitions to elicit greater contributions of effort. In regions of intermediate development, religious schisms and cycles occur. This analytic narrative sheds light on how economic development can lead to cultural change.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 11/11.

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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:11/11

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Keywords: club goods; religious polarization; community; Jewish emancipation;

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  1. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2005. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions, or Minorities?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 922-948, December.
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  7. 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, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, 09.
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  10. Michael McBride, 2007. "Why Churches Need Free-riders: Religious Capital Formation and Religious Group Survival," Working Papers 060722, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  11. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Carvalho, Jean-Paul & Koyama, Mark, 2013. "Resisting Education," MPRA Paper 48048, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Binzel, Christine & Carvalho, Jean-Paul, 2013. "Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: A Theory of the Islamic Revival in Egypt," IZA Discussion Papers 7259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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