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Religion and Economic Growth: Was Weber Right?

  • Blum, U.
  • Dudley, L.

Evidence of falling wages in Catholic cities and rising wages in Protestant cities between 1500 and 1750, during the spread of literady and the vernacular, is inconsistent with most theorretical models of economic growth. In the Protestant Ethic, Weber suggested an alternative explanation based on culture. Here, a theoretical model confirms that a small change in the subjective cost od cooperating with strangers can generate a profound transformation in trading networks.

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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2001-05.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:2001-05
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  9. De Long, J. Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei, 1993. "Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution," Scholarly Articles 3451302, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
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  14. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Elias Dinopoulos & Peter Thompson, 1999. "Reassessing the empirical validity of the human-capital augmented neoclassical growth model," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 135-154.
  16. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
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  18. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
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