IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Development and Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism


  • Mark Koyama
  • Jean-Paul Carvalho


Jewish emancipation in nineteenth century Europe produced drastically different responses. In Germany, a liberal variant known as Reform developed, while ultra-Orthodox Judaism emerged in eastern Europe. We develop a model of religious organization which explains this polarization. In developed regions, religious authorities embrace the prospect of cultural integration by relaxing prohibitions and benefitting from greater financial contributions. In poorer regions, religious authorities adopt a strategy of cultural resistance, enforcing prohibitions to elicit greater contributions of effort. In regions of intermediate development, religious schisms and cycles occur. This analytic narrative sheds light on how economic development can lead to cultural change.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Koyama & Jean-Paul Carvalho, "undated". "Development and Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism," Discussion Papers 11/11, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:11/11

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Main text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Komlos, 2007. "Anthropometric evidence on economic growth, biological well-being and regional convergence in the Habsburg Monarchy, c. 1850–1910," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 1(3), pages 211-237, October.
    2. McBride, Michael, 2015. "Why churches need free-riders: Religious capital formation and religious group survival," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 77-87.
    3. Guinnane, T., 1998. "Population and the Economy in Germany, 1800-1990," Papers 793, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    4. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2005. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions, or Minorities?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 922-948, December.
    5. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953.
    6. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    7. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2007. "From Farmers to Merchants, Conversions and Diaspora: Human Capital and Jewish History," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, September.
    8. MICHAEL McBRIDE, 2010. "Religious Market Competition in a Richer World," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 148-171, January.
    9. Schulze, Max-Stephan, 2000. "Patterns of growth and stagnation in the late nineteenth century Habsburg economy," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(03), pages 311-340, December.
    10. Abramitzky, Ran, 2009. "The effect of redistribution on migration: Evidence from the Israeli kibbutz," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 498-511, April.
    11. Schulze, Max-Stephan, 2000. "Patterns of growth and stagnation in the late nineteenth century Habsburg economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4370, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Pedro Pita Barros & Nuno Garoupa, 2002. "An Economic Theory Of Church Strictness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 559-576, July.
    13. Ran Abramitzky, 2008. "The Limits of Equality: Insights from the Israeli Kibbutz," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1111-1159.
    14. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-291, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Binzel, Christine & Carvalho, Jean-Paul, 2013. "Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: A Theory of the Islamic Revival in Egypt," IZA Discussion Papers 7259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Prummer, Anja & Siedlarek, Jan-Peter, 2014. "Institutions And The Preservation Of Cultural Traits," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 470, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Joan Esteban & Gilat Levy & Laura Mayoral, 2015. "Liberty, religiosity, and effort," Working Papers 843, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Prummer, Anja & Siedlarek, Jan-Peter, 2017. "Community leaders and the preservation of cultural traits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 143-176.
    5. Carvalho, Jean-Paul & Koyama, Mark, 2013. "Resisting Education," MPRA Paper 48048, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ran Abramitzky, 2015. "Economics and the Modern Economic Historian," NBER Working Papers 21636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    club goods; religious polarization; community; Jewish emancipation;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • 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
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


    Access and download statistics


    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:yor:yorken:11/11. 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: (Paul Hodgson). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

    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.