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Jewish emancipation and schism: Economic development and religious change

Author

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  • Carvalho, Jean-Paul
  • Koyama, Mark

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of Jewish Emancipation and economic development on Jewish religious culture in 19th century Europe. In Germany, a liberal Reform movement developed in response to emancipation, while Ultra-Orthodox Judaism emerged in eastern Europe. We develop a historical narrative and model of religious organization that accounts for the polarized responses by Jewish communities. Our explanation is based on a tradeoff between time and money contributions. A religious organization chooses between a relatively affluent community that expends little effort on religious participation and a poorer community that devotes a large amount of time and effort to religious activity. Political and economic development shape this tradeoff in unexpected ways, leading to complex forms of behavior such as religious schisms and cycles. When preferences are transmitted intergenerationally, organizations tend to be more conservative. Our historical narrative points to further extensions of extant models of religion, as well as providing broader insights into cultural integration and religious change.

Suggested Citation

  • Carvalho, Jean-Paul & Koyama, Mark, 2016. "Jewish emancipation and schism: Economic development and religious change," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 562-584.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:3:p:562-584
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2016.06.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Sato, Yasuhiro & Zenou, Yves, 2019. "Assimilation Patterns in Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 12751, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:339-354 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sato, Yasuhiro & Zenou, Yves, 2019. "Assimilation Patterns in Cities," Working Paper Series 1303, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. repec:eee:jcecon:v:47:y:2019:i:1:p:196-214 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Iyigun, Murat & Rubin, Jared & Seror, Avner, 2018. "A Theory of Conservative Revivals," IZA Discussion Papers 11954, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    9. Murat Iyigun & Jared Rubin & Avner Seror, 2018. "A Theory of Cultural Revivals," Working Papers 18-14, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    10. NAKAGAWA Mariko & SATO Yasuhiro & YAMAMOTO Kazuhiro, 2019. "Segregation and Public Spending under Social Identification," Discussion papers 19096, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ilan Tojerow, 2018. "In God We Learn? The Universal Messages of Religions, their Context-Specific Effects, and the role of Minority Status," Working Papers CEB 16-036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. repec:kap:pubcho:v:171:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-016-0400-1 is not listed on IDEAS
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    18. Steven J. Bosworth & Dennis J. Snower, 2019. "The Interplay of Economic, Social and Political Fragmentation," CESifo Working Paper Series 7935, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. NAKAGAWA Mariko & SATO Yasuhiro & YAMAMOTO Kazuhiro, 2019. "Segregation and Public Spending under Social Identification," Discussion papers 19096, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    20. Sato, Yasuhiro & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Assimilation Patterns in Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 13364, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Jiabin Wu, 2019. "Social connections and cultural heterogeneity," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 779-798, April.
    22. Hornung, Erik, 2019. "Diasporas, diversity, and economic activity: Evidence from 18th-century Berlin," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-1.
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