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The Protestant Ethic And The Market Economy


  • Gerhard W. Ditz


Assuming a radicalized Weberian position, religious beliefs and their structuring dogmas are construed as independent variables. Within that frame Calvinism (Puritanism) is ‘ideal‐typically’ compared with Catholicism, sketchily also with Lutheranism and Marxism. The dependent variables arc productivity, propensity to save and invest, a profit‐making and calculating orientation, the perceived legitimacy of manipulating consumer choices. Though there are references to other national cultures the principal target is the American economy; its meteoric rise to wealth and economic predominance. Applying Weber's hypothesis as to the invariable bureaucratization of charismatic systems to the decreasing rate of economic progress of the American and other calvinistically influenced economies some macro‐ and micro problems are singled out for further analysis. Eine radikalisierte Webersche Position wird cingenommen, in drr sich religiösc Glaubensbekenntnisse und ihre strukturgebenden Dogmen erklären lassen. In dicser Form wird der Calvinismus (Puritanismus) ≪idealtypisch≫ mit dem Katholizismus, skizzcnhaft auch mit dem Luthcrianismus und dem Marsismus verglichen. Die abhängigen Variablexi sind Produktivität, Spar‐ und Investitionsneigung, eine profitliche und rcchenhafte Orirntierung, die wahrgenommene Legitimität der Manipulation der Konsumentscheide. Wenn auch zu andern nationalen Kulturen Bezug genommen wird, so bleibt doch die anierikanische Wirtschaft das Hauptziel: ihr kometenhaftrr Aufstieg zu Wohlstand und wirtschaftlicher Vormachtstellung. Werden Webers Hypothcscn ebenso wie die beständige Bürokratisierung charismatischer Systeme beriicksichtigt und mit der sinkenden Rate wirtschaftlichen Fortschrittes der amerikanischen und anderrn calvinistisch beeiriflussten Volkswirtschaften verbunden, so können einige Makround Mikroprobleme für weitere Analysen herausgearbeitet werden. L'auteur, adoptant une position weberienne radicale, analyse les croyances religieuses et leurs dogmes fondamentaux comme des variables indkpendantes. Dans une telle optique, le calvinisme apparait comme ≪une forme idéale≫ si on le compare au catholicisme, et mȩme plus sommairement, au luthérianisme et au marxisme. Les variables indépendantes sont : la productivité, la propension ȩépargner et ȩ investir, la préoccupation du profit et du calcul économique, la Iégitimité consciente de la manipulation des choix des consommateurs. Bien qu'il fasse référence ȩ d'autres cultures nationales, l'auteur s'appuie principalemcnt sur l'exemple américain: son ascension fantastique vers la richesse et sa prédominance économique. I1 applique enfin I'hypothtse de Weber, aussi bien ȩ l'invariable bureaucratisation des systtmes charismatiques qu'ȩ la décroissance du taux de progrès économique de 1'Amérique et d'autres économies influencées par le calvinisme. I1 met enfin en valeur quclques problèmes macro et micro‐économiques pour une analyse ultérieure.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerhard W. Ditz, 1980. "The Protestant Ethic And The Market Economy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 623-657, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:33:y:1980:i:4:p:623-657
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6435.1980.tb00717.x

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    Cited by:

    1. Eberhard Feess & Helge Mueller & Sabrina G. Ruhnau, 2014. "The Impact of Religion and the Degree of Religiosity on Work Ethic: A Multilevel Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 506-534, November.
    2. Mihai Stoicescu, 2021. "The Protestant Ethic and Capitalism," RAIS Conference Proceedings 2021 0031, Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.
    3. Modrack, Simone, 2008. "The protestant work ethic revisited: A promising concept or an outdated idea?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2008-101, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.

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