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Protestantism and Education: Reading (the Bible) and Other Skills

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  • Boppart, Timo
  • Falkinger, Josef
  • Grossmann, Volker

Abstract

During industrialization, Protestants were more literate than Catholics. This paper investigates whether this fact may be led back to the intrinsic motivation of Protestants to read the bible and whether other education motives were involved as well. We employ a historical data set from Switzerland which allows us to differentiate between different cognitive skills: reading, numeracy, essay writing and Swiss history. We develop an estimation strategy to examine whether the impact of religious denomination was particularly large with respect to reading capabilities. We find support for this hypothesis. However, Protestants' education motives went beyond acquiring reading skills. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis with number 48732.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc11:48732

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Keywords: Cognitive skills; Education; Reading capability; Religious denomination; Protestant reformation;

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  1. Becker, Sascha & Woessmann, Ludger, 2010. "The Effect of Protestantism on Education before the Industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers, University of Stirling, Division of Economics 2010-01, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  2. Boppart, Timo & Falkinger, Josef & Grossmann, Volker & Woitek, Ulrich & Wüthrich, Gabriela, 2013. "Under which conditions does religion affect educational outcomes?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 242-266.
  3. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596, May.
  4. Becker, Sascha O. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2008. "Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia," IZA Discussion Papers 3837, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Frank Betz & Christoph Carl Basten, 2012. "Beyond Work Ethic: Religion, Individual and Political Preferences," KOF Working papers, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich 12-309, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

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