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Under which conditions does religion affect educational outcomes?

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Boppart, Timo & Falkinger, Josef & Grossmann, Volker & Woitek, Ulrich & Wüthrich, Gabriela, 2013. "Under which conditions does religion affect educational outcomes?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 242-266.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:50:y:2013:i:2:p:242-266
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2012.12.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Becker, Sascha & Woessmann, Ludger, 2008. "Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-20, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    3. 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 611-627, November.
    4. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Torgler, Benno, 2010. "Work ethic, Protestantism, and human capital," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 99-101, May.
    5. Becker, Sascha O. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2010. "The effect of Protestantism on education before the industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 224-228, May.
    6. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 747-793.
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    8. Benito Arruñada, 2010. "Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 890-918, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Blum, Matthias & Strebel, Matthias, 2016. "Max Weber and the First World War: Protestant and Catholic living standards in Germany, 1915–1919," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 699-719, September.
    2. David de la Croix & Faustine Perrin, 2016. "French Fertility and Education Transition: Rational Choice vs. Cultural Diffusion," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Osikominu, Aderonke & Grossmann, Volker & Osterfeld, Marius, 2014. "Are Sociocultural Factors Important for Studying a Science University Major?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100404, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. David de la Croix & Clara Delavallade, 2015. "Religions, Fertility and Growth in South-East Asia," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Becker, Sascha O. & Pfaff, Steven & Rubin, Jared, 2016. "Causes and consequences of the Protestant Reformation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-25.
    6. Jared Rubin, 2014. "Printing and Protestants: An Empirical Test of the Role of Printing in the Reformation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 270-286, May.
    7. Davide Cantoni & Jeremiah Dittmar & Noam Yuchtman, 2016. "Reformation and Reallocation: Religious and Secular Economic Activity in Early Modern Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 6218, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Grossmann, Volker & Osikominu, Aderonke & Osterfeld, Marius, 2016. "Sociocultural Background and Choice of STEM Majors at University," CEPR Discussion Papers 11250, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. DeBacker, Jason M. & Routon, P. Wesley, 2017. "Expectations, education, and opportunity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 29-44.
    10. Luca Nunziata & Lorenzo Rocco, 2016. "A tale of minorities: evidence on religious ethics and entrepreneurship," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 189-224, June.
    11. Timo Boppart & Josef Falkinger & Volker Grossmann, 2014. "Protestantism And Education: Reading (The Bible) And Other Skills," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 874-895, April.
    12. Davide Cantoni & Jeremiah Dittmar & Noam Yuchtman, 2017. "Reallocation and Secularization: The Economic Consequences of the Protestant Reformation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1483, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Catholicism; Human capital; Political attitudes; Public education; Religious denomination;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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