This paper employs a variety of economic and financial indicators to examine the relationship between Roman Catholicism and Irish development in the Post-Famine period. County-level decennial data are used for all census years from 1871 to 1911, and Catholicism is instrumented using the distance from Stranraer in Scotland - exploiting the religious transformation of Ireland via plantation. The results reveal that Catholicism is an important factor in illiteracy, professional class, and saving propensity variation. However, the Catholic association is consistently diminishing in statistical and economic importance over time - indicative of religious convergence in development outcomes, and consistent with the idea of a "Catholic Embourgeoisement" in the Post-Famine period. The lack of a significant association between Catholicism and either company formations or bank branch prevalence suggests that Catholicism was not inhibitive to entrepreneurship or financial development.
religion and economic development Catholic-Protestant cultural dichotomy post-famine Irish economic history