IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp7151.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Not the Opium of the People: Income and Secularization in a Panel of Prussian Counties

Author

Listed:
  • Becker, Sascha O.

    (Monash University)

  • Woessmann, Ludger

    (University of Munich)

Abstract

The interplay between religion and the economy has occupied social scientists for long. We construct a unique panel of income and Protestant church attendance for six waves of up to 175 Prussian counties spanning 1886-1911. The data reveal a marked decline in church attendance coinciding with increasing income. The cross-section also shows a negative association between income and church attendance. But the association disappears in panel analyses, including first-differenced models of the 1886-1911 change, panel models with county and time fixed effects, and panel Granger-causality tests. The results cast doubt on causal interpretations of the religion-economy nexus in Prussian secularization.

Suggested Citation

  • Becker, Sascha O. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Not the Opium of the People: Income and Secularization in a Panel of Prussian Counties," IZA Discussion Papers 7151, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7151
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp7151.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    2. Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2006. "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," NBER Working Papers 12410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
    5. Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2008. "The Church Versus the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 831-862.
    6. Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Erik Hornung & Ludger Woessmann, 2014. "iPEHD--The ifo Prussian Economic History Database," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 57-66, June.
    7. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
    8. Lipford, Jody W. & Tollison, Robert D., 2003. "Religious participation and income," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 249-260, June.
    9. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Woessmann, Ludger & Becker, Sascha O. & Nagler, Markus, 2014. "Education Promoted Secularization," CEPR Discussion Papers 9884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Sriya Iyer, 2016. "The New Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 395-441, June.
    3. Janine Höhener & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2012. "Religionsökonomie: eine Übersicht," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2010. "The Protestant Ethic and Work: Micro Evidence from Contemporary Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 330, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    5. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2017. "Religion and work: Micro evidence from contemporary Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 193-214.
    6. Sascha O. Becker & Markus Nagler & Ludger Woessmann, 2017. "Education and religious participation: city-level evidence from Germany’s secularization period 1890–1930," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 273-311, September.
    7. Baele, Lieven & Farooq, Moazzam & Ongena, Steven, 2014. "Of religion and redemption: Evidence from default on Islamic loans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 141-159.
    8. M. Leroch & C. Reggiani & G. Rossini & E. Zucchelli, 2012. "Religious attitudes and home bias: theory and evidence from a pilot study," Working Papers wp811, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    9. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2018. "Economic Freedom and Religion," Public Finance Review, , vol. 46(2), pages 249-275, March.
    10. van Hoorn, André & Maseland, Robbert, 2013. "Does a Protestant work ethic exist? Evidence from the well-being effect of unemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 1-12.
    11. León, Anja Köbrich & Pfeifer, Christian, 2017. "Religious activity, risk-taking preferences and financial behaviour: Empirical evidence from German survey data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 99-107.
    12. 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.
    13. Nunziata, Luca & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2011. "The Implications of Cultural Background on Labour Market Choices: The Case of Religion and Entrepreneurship," IZA Discussion Papers 6114, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Sascha O. Becker & Jared Rubin & Ludger Woessmann, 2023. "Religion and Growth," Working Papers 23-09, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    15. Bettendorf, L. & Dijkgraaf, E., 2010. "Religion and income: Heterogeneity between countries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 12-29, May.
    16. Baele, L. & Farooq, M. & Ongena, S., 2012. "Of Religion and Redemption : Evidence from Default on Islamic Loans (Replaces CentER DP 2010-136)," Other publications TiSEM 44a4a19c-3959-4e99-b96b-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    17. Kirchmaier, Isadora & Prüfer, Jens & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2018. "Religion, moral attitudes and economic behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 282-300.
    18. Martin A. Leroch & Carlo Reggiani & Gianpaolo Rossini & Eugenio Zucchelli, 2014. "Religious Attitudes and Home Bias: Theory and New Evidence from Primary Data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 401-414, May.
    19. Yang, Yang & Zhang, Cheng & Yan, Yu, 2019. "Does religious faith affect household financial market participation? Evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 42-50.
    20. Kudo, Yuya, 2014. "Religion and polygamy : evidence from the livingstonia mission in Malawi," IDE Discussion Papers 477, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prussian economic history; secularization; religion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7151. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.