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Religion and work: Micro evidence from contemporary Germany

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  • Spenkuch, Jörg L.

Abstract

Using micro data from contemporary Germany, this paper studies the connection between Protestantism and modern-day labor market outcomes. To address the endogeneity in self-declared religion, I exploit a provision in a sixteenth-century peace treaty, which determined the geographic distribution of Catholics and Protestants. Reduced form and instrumental variable estimates provide no evidence of an effect of Protestantism on hourly wages. However, relative to their Catholic counterparts, Protestants do appear to work longer hours. The patterns in the data are difficult to reconcile with explanations based on institutional factors or religious differences in human capital acquisition. Religious differences in individuals’ values, however, can account for most of the estimated effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2017. "Religion and work: Micro evidence from contemporary Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 193-214.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:135:y:2017:i:c:p:193-214
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.01.011
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    3. Becker, Sascha O. & Rubin, Jared & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Religion in Economic History : A Survey," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1273, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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    6. Adrian Chadi & Matthias Krapf, 2017. "The Protestant Fiscal Ethic: Religious Confession And Euro Skepticism In Germany," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1813-1832, October.
    7. Gharad Bryan & James J Choi & Dean Karlan, 2021. "Randomizing Religion: the Impact of Protestant Evangelism on Economic Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 136(1), pages 293-380.
    8. Hasan, Iftekhar & Noth, Felix & Tonzer, Lena, 2020. "Cultural norms and corporate fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen scandal," IWH Discussion Papers 24/2020, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    9. Kersting, Felix & Wohnsiedler, Iris & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2020. "Weber Revisited: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Nationalism," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 710-745, September.
    10. Laliotis, Ioannis & Minos, Dimitrios, 2022. "Religion, social interactions, and COVID-19 incidence in Western Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    11. Nunziata, Luca & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2018. "The Protestant ethic and entrepreneurship: Evidence from religious minorities in the former Holy Roman Empire," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 27-43.
    12. Andrew McKendrick & Ian Walker, 2020. "The Roles of Faith and Faith Schooling in Educational, Economic, and Faith Outcomes," Working Papers 302455074, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    13. Hasan, Iftekhar & Kiesel, Konstantin & Noth, Felix, 2019. ""And forgive US our debts": Do Christian moralities influence over-indebtedness of individuals?," IWH Discussion Papers 8/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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    15. Laliotis, Ioannis & Minos, Dimitrios, 2020. "Spreading the disease: The role of culture," SocArXiv z4ndc, Center for Open Science.
    16. Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Tarverdi, Yashar & Weber, Clas, 2020. "Paradise Postponed: Future Tense and Religiosity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 500, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
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    19. Miao, Shuchao & Chi, Jing & Liao, Jing & Qian, Long, 2021. "How does religious belief promote farmer entrepreneurship in rural China?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 95-104.

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