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Under which conditions does religion affect educational outcomes?

  • Boppart, Timo
  • Falkinger, Josef
  • Grossmann, Volker
  • Woitek, Ulrich
  • Wüthrich, Gabriela

This paper examines under which conditions religious denomination affects public spending on schooling and educational performance. We employ a unique data set which covers, inter alia, information on numerous measures of public school inputs in 169 Swiss districts for the years 1871/72, 1881/82 and 1894/95, marks from pedagogical examinations of conscripts (1875–1903), and results from political referenda to capture conservative or progressive values. Although Catholic districts show on average significantly lower educational performance and spend less on primary schooling than Protestant districts, Catholicism is harmful only in a conservative milieu. We also exploit information on absenteeism of pupils from school to separate provision of schooling from use of schooling.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 50 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 242-266

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:50:y:2013:i:2:p:242-266
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. Hanushek, Eric A & Rivkin, Steven G & Taylor, Lori L, 1996. "Aggregation and the Estimated Effects of School Resources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 611-27, November.
  2. Becker, Sascha O. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2010. "The effect of Protestantism on education before the industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia," Munich Reprints in Economics 20254, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "Publicly Provided Education," NBER Working Papers 8799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Becker, Sascha O. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2007. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," Discussion Papers in Economics 1366, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
  6. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2007. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 6405, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Benito Arruñada, 2010. "Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic," Working Papers 497, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  9. Eric A. Hanushek, 1996. "Measuring Investment in Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 9-30, Fall.
  10. Rick L. Williams, 2000. "A Note on Robust Variance Estimation for Cluster-Correlated Data," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 645-646, 06.
  11. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  12. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia," CESifo Working Paper Series 2414, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Torgler, Benno, 2010. "Work ethic, Protestantism, and human capital," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 99-101, May.
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