miércoles, 20 de mayo de 2009

El protestantismo y el capitalismo

Parece que Weber acertó pero por las razones equivocadas: según este artículo, lo que hizo el protestantismo fue aumentar el nivel de educación, y eso fue lo que le hizo triunfar económicamente:

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

Sascha O. Becker

University of Stirling, Ifo Institute, CESifo, and Institut zur Zukunft der Arbeit.

Ludger Woessmann

University of Munich, Ifo Institute, CESifo, and Institut zur Zukunft der Arbeit.


Max Weber attributed the higher economic prosperity of Protestant regions to a Protestant work ethic. We provide an alternative theory: Protestant economies prospered because instruction in reading the Bible generated 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 Protestantism indeed led to higher economic prosperity, but also to better education. Our results are consistent with Protestants' higher literacy accounting for most of the gap in economic prosperity.

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