IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/480.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Conversionary Protestants do not cause democracy

Author

Listed:
  • Nikolova, Elena
  • Polansky, Jakub

Abstract

In "The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy", Robert D. Woodberry (2012) claims that the emergence of stable democracies around the world was influenced by conversionary Protestantism. While Woodberry's historical analysis is exhaustive, the accompanying empirical evidence suffers from severe inconsistencies. We replicate Woodberry's analysis using 26 alternative democracy measures and extend the time period over which the democracy measures are averaged. These two simple modifications lead to the breakdown of Woodberry's results. We find no significant relationship between Protestant missions and the development of democracy, which raises concerns about the robustness and broader applicability of Woodberry's findings. We discuss some alternative explanations for Woodberry's results which we hope can inform future research on this topic.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolova, Elena & Polansky, Jakub, 2020. "Conversionary Protestants do not cause democracy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 480, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:480
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/214629/1/GLO-DP-0480.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    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. Davide Cantoni & Jeremiah Dittmar & Noam Yuchtman, 2018. "Religious Competition and Reallocation: the Political Economy of Secularization in the Protestant Reformation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(4), pages 2037-2096.
    3. Djankov, Simeon & Nikolova, Elena, 2018. "Communism as the unhappy coming," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 708-721.
    4. Gründler, Klaus & Krieger, Tommy, 2016. "Democracy and growth: Evidence from a machine learning indicator," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 85-107.
    5. Pemstein, Daniel & Meserve, Stephen A. & Melton, James, 2010. "Democratic Compromise: A Latent Variable Analysis of Ten Measures of Regime Type," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 426-449.
    6. Remi Jedwab & Felix Meier zu Selhausen & Alexander Moradi, 2022. "The economics of missionary expansion: evidence from Africa and implications for development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 149-192, June.
    7. Ying Bai & James Kai-sing Kung, 2015. "Diffusing Knowledge While Spreading God'S Message: Protestantism And Economic Prosperity In China, 1840–1920," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 669-698, August.
    8. Klaus Gründler & Tommy Krieger, 2018. "Machine Learning Indices, Political Institutions, and Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 6930, CESifo.
    9. Woodberry, Robert D., 2012. "The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 244-274, May.
    10. José Cheibub & Jennifer Gandhi & James Vreeland, 2010. "Democracy and dictatorship revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 67-101, April.
    11. Tomila Lankina & Lullit Getachew, 2012. "Mission or Empire, Word or Sword? The Human Capital Legacy in Postcolonial Democratic Development," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 56(2), pages 465-483, April.
    12. Yuyu Chen & Hui Wang & Se Yan, 2014. "The Long-Term Effects of Protestant Activities in China," CEH Discussion Papers 025, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    13. Waldinger, Maria, 2017. "The long-run effects of missionary orders in Mexico," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68841, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Waldinger, Maria, 2017. "The long-run effects of missionary orders in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 355-378.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Remi Jedwab & Felix Meier zu Selhausen & Alexander Moradi, 2022. "The economics of missionary expansion: evidence from Africa and implications for development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 149-192, June.
    2. Jedwab, Remi & Meier zu Selhausen, Felix & Moradi, Alexander, 2021. "Christianization without economic development: Evidence from missions in Ghana," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 573-596.
    3. Okoye, Dozie, 2021. "Things fall apart? Missions, institutions, and interpersonal trust," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    4. Becker, Sascha O. & Rubin, Jared & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Religion in Economic History: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 14894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Hong, Ji Yeon & Paik, Christopher, 2021. "Hate thy communist neighbor: Protestants and politics in South Korea," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 707-723.
    6. Dozie & Roland Pongou, 2021. "Missions and Heterogeneous Social Change: Evidence from Border Discontinuities in the Emirates of Nigeria," Working Papers 2112E Classification-I20,, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Alpino,Matteo & Hammersmark,Eivind Moe, 2020. "The Role of Historical Christian Missions in the Location of World Bank Aid in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9146, The World Bank.
    9. Yasar Ersan & Ilhan Can Ozen, 2022. "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia: The Long Run Development Effects of American Missions in Anatolia," ERC Working Papers 2201, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Jan 2022.
    10. Sheremeta, Roman & Smith, Vernon, 2017. "The Impact of the Reformation on the Economic Development of Western Europe," MPRA Paper 87220, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Grytten, Ola Honningdal, 2020. "Weber revisited: A literature review on the possible Link between Protestantism, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 8/2020, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    12. Jin, Gan, 2018. "Circle of Fortune: The Long Term Impact of Western Customs Institutions in China," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181605, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Johannes Blum & Florian Dorn & Axel Heuer, 2021. "Political institutions and health expenditure," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 28(2), pages 323-363, April.
    14. Gan Jin, 2018. "Circle of Fortune: The Long Term Impact of Western Customs Institutions in China," Discussion Paper Series 37, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Jul 2018.
    15. Julia Cage & Valeria Rueda, 2017. "Sex and the Mission: The Conflicting Effects of Early Christian Investments on the HIV Epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa," Sciences Po publications 12192, Sciences Po.
    16. Colagrossi, Marco & Rossignoli, Domenico & Maggioni, Mario A., 2020. "Does democracy cause growth? A meta-analysis (of 2000 regressions)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    17. Calvi, Rossella & Mantovanelli, Federico G., 2018. "Long-term effects of access to health care: Medical missions in colonial India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 285-303.
    18. Johannes Blum, 2021. "Democracy’s third wave and national defense spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 189(1), pages 183-212, October.
    19. Tabe-Ojong, Martin Paul Jr. & Nshakira-Rukundo, Emmanuel, 2021. "Religiosity and parental educational aspirations for children in Kenya," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 23(C).
    20. Anastasia Litina & Èric Roca Fernández, 2020. "Celestial enlightenment: eclipses, curiosity and economic development among pre-modern ethnic groups [Working Papers / Documents de travail]," Working Papers halshs-03044843, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    religion; democracy; economic history; political institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:zbw:glodps:480. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    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: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    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.