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Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia

Sascha Becker and Ludger Woessmann

No 3837, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Martin Luther urged each town to have a girls' school so that girls would learn to read the Gospel, evoking a surge of building girls' schools in Protestant areas. Using county- and town-level data from the first Prussian census of 1816, we show that a larger share of Protestants decreased the gender gap in basic education. This result holds when using only the exogenous variation in Protestantism due to a county's or town's distance to Wittenberg, the birthplace of the Reformation. Similar results are found for the gender gap in literacy among the adult population in 1871.

Keywords: Protestantism; education; gender gap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J16 N33 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 39 pages
Date: 2008-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-his, nep-lab and nep-ltv
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (153)

Published - published in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2008, 110 (4), 777–805

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Working Paper: Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia (2008) Downloads
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