IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/1265.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Adopting a new religion: The case of Protestantism in 16th Century Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Davide Cantoni

Abstract

Using a rich dataset of territories and cities of the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century, this paper investigates the determinants of adoption and diffusion of Protestantism as a state religion. A territory’s distance to Wittenberg, the city where Martin Luther taught, is a major determinant of adoption. This finding can be explained through a theory of strategic neighbourhood interactions: in an uncertain legal context, introducing the Reformation was a risky enterprise for territorial lords, and had higher prospects of success if powerful neighbouring states committed to the new faith first. The model is tested in a panel dataset featuring the dates of introduction of the Reformation.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Cantoni, 2011. "Adopting a new religion: The case of Protestantism in 16th Century Germany," Economics Working Papers 1265, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1265
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/1265.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    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. Timo Boppart & Josef Falkinger & Volker Grossmann & Ulrich Woitek & Gabriela W�thrich, 2008. "Qualifying Religion: The Role of Plural Identities for Educational Production," IEW - Working Papers 360, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
    4. Sharun W. Mukand & Dani Rodrik, 2005. "In Search of the Holy Grail: Policy Convergence, Experimentation, and Economic Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 374-383, March.
    5. Murat Iyigun, 2008. "Luther and Suleyman," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1465-1494.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jeremiah E. Dittmar & Ralf R. Meisenzahl, 2016. "State Capacity and Public Goods: Institutional Change, Human Capital, and Growth in Early Modern Germany," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-028, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Adrian Chadi & Matthias Krapf, 2017. "The Protestant Fiscal Ethic: Religious Confession And Euro Skepticism In Germany," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1813-1832, October.
    3. Sascha O. Becker & Jared Rubin & Ludger Woessmann, 2020. "Religion in Economic History: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 8365, CESifo.
    4. Coşgel, Metin & Histen, Matthew & Miceli, Thomas J. & Yıldırım, Sadullah, 2018. "State and religion over time," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 20-34.
    5. Lecce, Giampaolo & Ogliari, Laura, 2019. "Institutional Transplant and Cultural Proximity: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Prussia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1060-1093, December.
    6. Becker, Sascha O. & Pfaff, Steven & Rubin, Jared, 2016. "Causes and consequences of the Protestant Reformation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-25.
    7. İ. Semih Akçomak & Dinand Webbink & Bas Weel, 2016. "Why Did the Netherlands Develop So Early? The Legacy of the Brethren of the Common Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 821-860, June.
    8. Julia Cagé & Valeria Rueda, 2016. "The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 69-99, July.
    9. Edwards, Jeremy, 2017. "Did Protestantism promote economic prosperity via higher human capital?," MPRA Paper 82346, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Jeremiah Dittmar & Ralph R. Meisenzahl, 2016. "State Capacity and Public Goods: Institutional change, Human Capital and Growth in Early Modern Germany," CEP Discussion Papers dp1418, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Coşgel, Metin M. & Hwang, Jungbin & Miceli, Thomas J. & Yıldırım, Sadullah, 2019. "Religiosity: Identifying the effect of pluralism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 219-235.
    12. Humphreys, Macartan & Sánchez de la Sierra, Raúl & Van der Windt, Peter, 2019. "Exporting democratic practices: Evidence from a village governance intervention in Eastern Congo," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 279-301.
    13. Bas ter Weel & Semih Akcomak & Dinand Webbink, 2013. "Why Did the Netherlands Develop so Early? The Legacy of the Brethren of the Common Life," CPB Discussion Paper 228, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    14. Lars Boerner & Jared Rubin & Battista Severgnini, 2019. "A Time to Print, a Time to Reform," Working Papers 19-07, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    15. Thilo R. Huning & Fabian Wahl, 2016. "You Reap What You Know: Observability of Soil Quality, and Political Fragmentation," Working Papers 0101, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    16. Dittmar, Jeremiah & Meisenzahl, Ralf, 2017. "State Capacity and Public Goods: Institutional Change, Human Capital, and Growth in Historic Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 12037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Nunziata, Luca & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2018. "The Protestant ethic and entrepreneurship: Evidence from religious minorities in the former Holy Roman Empire," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 27-43.
    18. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2017. "Religion and work: Micro evidence from contemporary Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 193-214.
    19. Falck, Oliver & Bauernschuster, Stefan, 2013. "Culture and the Spatial Dissemination of Ideas Evidence from Froebel's Kindergarten Movement," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79704, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Dittmar, Jeremiah E. & Meisenzahl, Ralf R., 2020. "Public goods institutions, human capital, and growth: evidence from German history," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91195, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    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. Saleh, Mohamed, 2018. "On the Road to Heaven: Taxation, Conversions, and the Coptic-Muslim Socioeconomic Gap in Medieval Egypt," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 394-434, June.
    2. Soldatos, Gerasimos T., 2014. "On the Religion-Public Policy Correlation," MPRA Paper 60859, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Saleh, Mohamed, 2013. "On the Road to Heaven: Self-Selection, Religion, and Socio-Economic Status," IAST Working Papers 13-04, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST), revised Dec 2015.
    4. Jared Rubin, 2014. "Printing and Protestants: An Empirical Test of the Role of Printing in the Reformation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 270-286, May.
    5. Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2013. "Legal centralization and the birth of the secular state," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 959-978.
    6. Marianna Belloc & Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati, 2016. "Earthquakes, Religion, and Transition to Self-Government in ItalianCities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1875-1926.
    7. Pritha Dev & Blessing U. Mberu & Roland Pongou, 2016. "Ethnic Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Formal Education in Nigeria," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 603-660.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Becker, Sascha O. & Pfaff, Steven & Rubin, Jared, 2016. "Causes and consequences of the Protestant Reformation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-25.
    11. Adrian Chadi & Matthias Krapf, 2017. "The Protestant Fiscal Ethic: Religious Confession And Euro Skepticism In Germany," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1813-1832, October.
    12. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2018. "Economic Freedom and Religion," Public Finance Review, , vol. 46(2), pages 249-275, March.
    13. Martin R. West & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "'Every Catholic Child in a Catholic School': Historical Resistance to State Schooling, Contemporary Private Competition and Student Achievement across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages 229-255, August.
    14. Bénabou, Roland & Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2015. "Forbidden Fruits: The Political Economy of Science, Religion, and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 10548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Bednarik, Radek & Filipova, Lenka, 2009. "The role of religion and political regime for human capital and economic development," MPRA Paper 14556, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Berggren, Niclas & Bjã˜Rnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 161-185, June.
    17. Iyigun, Murat, 2007. "Monotheism (From a Sociopolitical and Economic Perspective)," IZA Discussion Papers 3116, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Lapo Filistrucchi & Jens Prüfer, 2019. "Faithful Strategies: How Religion Shapes Nonprofit Management," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(1), pages 188-208, January.
    19. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ilan Tojerow, 2016. "In God We Learn? Religions’ Universal Messages, Context-Specific Effects, and Minority Status," Working Papers CEB 2013/233535, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    20. Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter, 2014. "Population, technology and fragmentation: The European miracle revisited," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 87-105.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Protestantism; State religions; Germany; Spatial adoption of policies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

    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:upf:upfgen:1265. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    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: The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask the person in charge to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.