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The protestant work ethic revisited: A promising concept or an outdated idea?

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  • Modrack, Simone
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    Abstract

    The main task of this paper consists in gauging the analytical value of Max Weber´s Protestant Work Ethic, and in tackling the question of whether and how the concept is still used in current research and theory building. Reviewing existing literature, four broad areas of research are identified and discussed. It is found that the Protestant Work Ethic construct is not outdated but instead a valuable and promising approach which could add in particular to the growing research body on interactions between culture, institutions and economic outcomes. -- Das vorliegende Papier zielt darauf ab, den analytischen Wert der auf Max Weber zurückgehenden protestantischen Arbeitsethik zu erörtern und zu klären, ob und inwiefern das Konzept im Rahmen von aktueller Forschung und Theoriebildung noch Verwendet findet. Zu diesem Zweck wird die einschlägige Literatur durchgesehen, in vier Kategorien unterteilt und diskutiert. Es zeigt sich, dass das Konzept der protestantischen Arbeitsethik keineswegs veraltert ist, sondern einen wertvollen und viel versprechenden Ansatz darstellt, der künftig insbesondere die Forschung zum Verhältnis zwischen Kultur, Institutionen und wirtschaftlichen Folgen bereichern könnte.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment with number SP I 2008-101.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzblpe:spi2008101

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    1. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hassall, Stacey L. & Muller, Juanita J. & Hassall, Emma J., 2005. "Comparing the Protestant work ethic in the employed and unemployed in Australia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 327-341, June.
    3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8810 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, 06.
    5. Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Comment on "The Roots of Low European Employment: Family Culture?"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 115-123 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2005. "The Roots of Low European Employment : Family Culture ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb), CEPREMAP 0512, CEPREMAP.
    7. Gabriel, Yiannis, 1990. "The Protestant Work Ethic: The psychology of work-related beliefs and behaviours : Adrian Furnham, Routledge, London, 1990. pp. xv + 305. [UK pound]12.99," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 458-462, September.
    8. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
    10. Tito Boeri, 2005. "Comment on "The Roots of Low European Employment: Family Culture?"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 110-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
    12. Horst Feldmann, 2007. "Protestantism, Labor Force Participation, and Employment," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 795-816, October.
    13. Ditz, Gerhard W, 1980. "The Protestant Ethic and the Market Economy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 623-57.
    14. Tiago Cavalcanti & Stephen Parente & Rui Zhao, 2007. "Religion in macroeconomics: a quantitative analysis of Weber’s thesis," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 105-123, July.
    15. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8808 is not listed on IDEAS
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