Conversionary Protestants do not cause democracy
Elena Nikolova and
No 480, GLO Discussion Paper Series from Global Labor Organization (GLO)
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.
Keywords: religion; democracy; economic history; political institutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H11 N40 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro and nep-his
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:glodps:480
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