The Protestant Ethic and Work: Micro Evidence from Contemporary Germany
Jörg Spenkuch ()
No 330, SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research from DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)
Few theories in the social sciences have gained more widespread acceptance than Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - despite a lack of conclusive empirical evidence. At the core of Weber's theory lies a connection between Protestantism and attitudes toward work. Using micro-data from contemporary Germany, this paper investigates the impact of Protestantism on economic outcomes and whether any such connection still exists. To break the endogeneity in religious affiliation the paper exploits the fact that the geographic distribution of Catholics and Protestants is an artifact of a provision in the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. Reduced form and instrumental variable estimates indicate that, even today, Protestantism leads to higher earnings through increased hours of work, and substantially more self-employment. Institutional factors, or differences in human capital acquisition cannot account for this effect. Instead, the data point to an explanation based on individual values akin to a Protestant Ethic.
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: The Protestant Ethic and Work: Micro Evidence from Contemporary Germany (2010)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp330
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research from DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)
Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by Bibliothek ().