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Pre-Reformation Roots of the Protestant Ethic

Thomas Andersen, Jeanet Bentzen (), Carl-Johan Dalgaard () and Paul Sharp ()

CAGE Online Working Paper Series from Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE)

Abstract: We hypothesize that cultural appreciation of hard work and thrift,the Protestant ethic according to Max Weber,had a pre-Reformation origin.The proximate source of these values was,according to the proposed theory,the Catholic Order of Cistercians.In support,we first document an impact from the Order on growth within the epicenter of the industrial revolution;English counties that were more exposed to Cistercian monasteries experienced faster productivity growth from the 13th century onwards. Consistent with a cultural influence,this impact is also found after the monasteries were dissolved in the 1530s.Second,we find that the values emphasized by Weber are relatively more pervasive in European regions where Cistercian monasteries were located historically,and that the legacy of the Cistercianscan be detected inpresent-day employment rates across European sub-regions.

Keywords: Cultural values; Protestant ethic; Economic development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Journal Article: Pre‐reformation Roots of the Protestant Ethic (2017) Downloads
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