Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History

@article{Becker2007WasWW,
  title={Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History},
  author={Sascha O. Becker and Ludger Woessmann},
  journal={CESifo Working Paper Series},
  year={2007}
}
Max Weber attributed the higher economic prosperity of Protestantregions to a Protestant work ethic. We provide an alternative theory: Protestant economies prospered because instruction in reading the Biblegenerated the human capital crucial to economic prosperity. We test the theory using county-level data from late-nineteenth-century Prussia,exploiting the initial concentric dispersion of the Reformation to use distance to Wittenberg as an instrument for Protestantism. We find that… 

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