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The Effect of Protestantism on Education before the Industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia

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  • Becker, Sascha
  • Woessmann, Ludger

Abstract

This paper uses recently discovered data on nearly 300 Prussian counties in 1816 to show that Protestantism led to more schools and higher school enrollment already before the industrialization. This evidence supports the human capital theory of Protestant economic history of Becker and Woessmann (2009), where Protestantism first led to better education, which in turn facilitated industrial development. It rules out that the existing end-of-19th-century evidence can be explained by a Weberian explanation, where a Protestant work ethic first led to industrialization which then increased the demand for education.

Suggested Citation

  • Becker, Sascha & Woessmann, Ludger, 2010. "The Effect of Protestantism on Education before the Industrialization: Evidence from 1816 Prussia," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-01, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2010-01
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/1958
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    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, pages 531-596.
    2. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Das Human Kapital," Working Papers 2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
    4. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "Why the United States Led in Education: Lessons from Secondary School Expansion, 1910 to 1940," NBER Working Papers 6144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Protestantism; Pre-Industrialization;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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