IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v103y2013i3p539-44.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Not the Opium of the People: Income and Secularization in a Panel of Prussian Counties

Author

Listed:
  • Sascha O. Becker
  • Ludger Woessmann

Abstract

The interplay between religion and the economy has long occupied social scientists. We construct a unique panel of income and Protestant church attendance using 175 Prussian counties, presented in six waves from 1886 to 1911. The data reveal a marked decline in church attendance coinciding with increasing income. The cross-section also shows a negative association between income and church attendance. The associations disappear in panel analyses, including first-differenced models of the 1886 to 1911 change, panel models with county and time fixed effects, and panel Granger-causality tests. The results cast doubt on causal interpretations of the religion-economy nexus in Prussian secularization.

Suggested Citation

  • Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2013. "Not the Opium of the People: Income and Secularization in a Panel of Prussian Counties," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 539-544, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:539-44
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.539
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.103.3.539
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/may2013/P2013_0117_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/may2013/P2013_0117_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/may2013/P2013_0117_data.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
    2. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    3. Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Erik Hornung & Ludger Woessmann, 2014. "iPEHD--The ifo Prussian Economic History Database," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 57-66, June.
    4. Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2006. "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," NBER Working Papers 12410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
    6. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
    7. Lipford, Jody W. & Tollison, Robert D., 2003. "Religious participation and income," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 249-260, June.
    8. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bittschi, Benjamin & Borgloh, Sarah & Wigger, Berthold U., 2016. "Philanthropy in a secular society," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-021, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Davide Cantoni & Franziska Kugler & Ludger Wößmann, 2014. "Der lange Schatten der Geschichte: Mechanismen der Persistenz in der Wirtschaftsgeschichte," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(02), pages 13-22, January.
    3. repec:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:30:p:2922-2938 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2018. "Social Cohesion, Religious Beliefs, and the Effect of Protestantism on Suicide," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 377-391, July.
    5. Becker, Sascha O. & Nagler, Markus & Woessmann, Ludger, 2014. "Education Promoted Secularization," CEPR Discussion Papers 9884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Allen Bellas & Lea Kosnik, 2016. "Which Leading Journal Leads? Idea Diffusion in Economics Research Journals," Working Papers 1013, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.
    7. Sriya Iyer, 2016. "The New Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 395-441, June.
    8. Dierk Herzer & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Religiosity and income: a panel cointegration and causality analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(30), pages 2922-2938, June.
    9. Bittschi, Benjamin & Borgloh, Sarah & Wigger, Berthold, 2015. "Secularization, tax policy and prosocial behavior," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113065, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:539-44. 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: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.