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Religious orders and growth through cultural change in pre-industrial England

  • Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck


    (Department of Business and Economics)

  • Bentzen, Jeanet


    (Department of Economics)

  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan


    (Department of Economics)

  • Sharp, Paul


    (Department of Business and Economics)

We hypothesize that cultural appreciation of hard work and thrift, the "Protestant ethic" according to Max Weber, had a pre-Reformation origin. The proximate source of these values was, according to the proposed theory, the Catholic Order of Cistercians. In support, we document that the Cistercians influenced comparative regional development across English counties, even after the monasteries were dissolved in the 1530s. Moreover, we find that the values emphasized by Weber are comparatively more pervasive in regions where Cistercian monasteries were found historically. Pre-industrial development in England may thus have been propelled by a process of growth through cultural change.

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Paper provided by Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark in its series Discussion Papers of Business and Economics with number 12/2012.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 03 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2012_012
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Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

Phone: 65 50 32 33
Fax: 65 50 32 37
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