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Education Promoted Secularization

Sascha Becker (), Markus Nagler and Ludger Woessmann ()

VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy from Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association

Abstract: Why did substantial parts of Europe abandon the institutionalized churches around 1900? Empirical studies using modern data mostly contradict the traditional view that education was a leading source of the seismic social phenomenon of secularization. We construct a unique panel dataset of advanced-school enrollment and Protestant church attendance in German cities between 1890 and 1930. Our cross-sectional estimates replicate a positive association. By contrast, in panel models where fixed effects account for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, education but not income or urbanization is negatively related to church attendance. In panel models with lagged explanatory variables, educational expansion precedes reduced church attendance.

Keywords: secularization; education; history; Germany (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 N33 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-his
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Working Paper: Education Promoted Secularization (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Education Promoted Secularization (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Education Promoted Secularization (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Education Promoted Secularization (2014) Downloads
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