IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England

  • Thomas Barnebeck Andersen
  • Jeanet Bentzen
  • Carl-Johan Dalgaard
  • Paul Sharp

We advance the hypothesis that cultural values such as high work ethics and thrift, “the Protestant ethic” according to Max Weber, may have been diffused long before the Reformation, thereby importantly affecting the pre-industrial growth record. The source of pre-Reformation Protestant ethics, according to the proposed theory, was the Catholic Order of Cistercians. Using county-level data for England we find empirically that the frequency of Cistercian monasteries influenced county-level comparative development until 1801; that is, long after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The pre-industrial development of England may thus have been propelled by a process of growth through cultural change.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c015_036.

in new window

Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_036
Contact details of provider: Postal: Niels Bohrs Vej 9, 6700 Esbjerg
Phone: +45 6550 2233
Fax: +45 6550 1090
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-01, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised May 2011.
  3. Matthias Doepke, . "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," UCLA Economics Online Papers 419, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Niels Framroze Møller & Paul Sharp, 2008. "Malthus in Cointegration Space: A new look at living standards and population in pre-industrial England," Discussion Papers 08-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521687850 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. E. A. Wrigley, 2007. "Erratum: English county populations in the later eighteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(2), pages 456-456, 05.
  8. Bruce M. S. Campbell, 2008. "Benchmarking medieval economic development: England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, c.1290 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(4), pages 896-945, November.
  9. E. A. Wrigley, 2007. "English county populations in the later eighteenth century -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(1), pages 35-69, 02.
  10. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Becker, Robert A, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-82, September.
  12. Clark, Gregory & Werf, Ysbrand Van Der, 1998. "Work in Progress? The Industrious Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 830-843, September.
  13. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  14. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn & Emilie Rovito, 2008. "Technology usage lags," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 237-256, December.
  15. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," NBER Working Papers 14278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Shekhar Aiyar & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Omer Moav, 2008. "Technological progress and regress in pre-industrial times," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 125-144, June.
  17. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521868273 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Davide Cantoni, 2010. "The economic effects of the Protestant Reformation: Testing the Weber hypothesis in the German Lands," Economics Working Papers 1260, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  21. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
  22. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
  23. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  24. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  25. Tiago Cavalcanti & Stephen Parente & Rui Zhao, 2007. "Religion in macroeconomics: a quantitative analysis of Weber’s thesis," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 105-123, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_036. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jan Pedersen)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.