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

  • Becker, Sascha
  • Woessmann, Ludger

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/1958
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Paper provided by University of Stirling, Division of Economics in its series Stirling Economics Discussion Papers with number 2010-01.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2010-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: Division of Economics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
Phone: +44 (0)1786 467473
Fax: +44 (0)1786 467469
Web page: http://www.econ.stir.ac.uk/

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  1. 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.
  2. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Das Human Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410003, EconWPA.
  3. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," CESifo Working Paper Series 1987, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Das Human Kapital," Working Papers 2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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