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Religious orders and growth through cultural change in pre-industrial England

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

No 12/2012, Discussion Papers of Business and Economics from University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics

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 document that the Cistercians influenced comparative regional development across English counties, even after the monasteries were dissolved in the 1530s. Moreover, we find that the values emphasized by Weber are comparatively more pervasive in regions where Cistercian monasteries were found historically. Pre-industrial development in England may thus have been propelled by a process of growth through cultural change.

Keywords: Cultural values; protestant ethic; economic development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N13 O11 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2012-07-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-his and nep-soc
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Related works:
Working Paper: Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England (2010) Downloads
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