Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/145045
Authors: 
Curuk, Malik
Smulders, Sjak
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 6010
Abstract: 
The Reformation provided a powerful source of legitimacy for secularization of governance and enabled the regional authorities to change the institutional structure to eliminate the inefficiencies under the prevailing (Catholic) regime. We investigate this idea in a simple model of regime change and show that the regions where the prevailing institutions are less appropriate, i.e. poorer regions with greater economic potential, should have been more likely to adopt the Reformation. Using detailed data on religious denominations, city characteristics and exogenous measures of agricultural potential, we empirically confirm this hypothesis for the cities in the 16th century Holy Roman Empire. This finding points to an economic rationale of the adoption of Protestantism as a vehicle of institutional change.
Subjects: 
institutional change
appropriate institutions
Malthusian growth
economics of religion
German Reformation
regional autonomy
agricultural potential
urbanization
JEL: 
D72
N33
N43
N53
Z12
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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