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Predestination and the Protestant ethic




This paper shows an equivalence result between the utility functions of secular agents who abide by a moral obligation to accumulate wealth and those of religious agents who believe that salvation is immutable and preordained by God. This result formalizes Weber's renowned thesis on the connection between the worldly asceticism of Protestants and the religious premises of Calvinism. Furthermore, ongoing economies are often modeled with preference relations such as "Keeping up with the Joneses" which are not associated with religion. Our results relate these secular economies of today and economies of the past shaped by religious ideas.

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  • Larbi Alaoui & Alvaro Sandroni, 2013. "Predestination and the Protestant ethic," Economics Working Papers 1350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1350

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    Cited by:

    1. Degan, Arianna & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2016. "Dynastic accumulation of wealth," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 66-78.

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    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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