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A tale of minorities: evidence on religious ethics and entrepreneurship

Author

Listed:
  • Luca Nunziata

    () (University of Padua
    IZA)

  • Lorenzo Rocco

    () (University of Padua)

Abstract

Abstract Does Protestantism favour entrepreneurship more than Catholicism does? We provide a novel way to answer this question by comparing Protestant and Catholic minorities using Swiss census data. Exploiting the strong adhesion of religious minorities to their denomination’ ethical principles and the historical determination of the geographical distribution of denominations across Swiss cantons, we find that Protestantism is associated with a significantly higher propensity for entrepreneurship. The estimated difference ranges between 1.5 and 3.2 % points, it is larger the smaller the size of the religious minority, it is mainly driven by prime age male entrepreneurs and it stands up to a number of robustness checks. No effects are found when comparing religious majorities, suggesting that the implications of religious ethical norms on economic outcomes emerge only when such norms are fully internalized.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:21:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10887-015-9123-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-015-9123-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nunziata, Luca & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2014. "The Protestant Ethic and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Religious Minorities from the Former Holy Roman Empire," MPRA Paper 53566, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:27-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0661-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jasmine Mondolo, 2018. "How do informal institutions influence inward FDI? A systematic review," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0218, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Self-employment; Religion; Culture; Protestantism; Catholicism; Switzerland;

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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