Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/153827
Authors: 
Basten, Christoph
Betz, Frank
Year of Publication: 
2011
Series/Report no.: 
ECB Working Paper 1393
Abstract: 
We investigate the effect of Reformed Protestantism, relative to Catholicism, on preferences for leisure and for redistribution and intervention in the economy. With a Fuzzy Spatial Regression Discontinuity Design, we exploit a historical quasiexperiment in Western Switzerland, where in the 16th century a so far homogeneous region was split and one part assigned to convert to Protestantism. We find that Reformed Protestantism reduces the fraction of citizens voting for more leisure by 13, and that voting for more redistribution and government intervention by respectively 3 and 11 percentage points. These preferences are found to translate into greater income inequality, but we find no robust effect on average income.
Subjects: 
culture
Max Weber
political preferences
Protestant work ethic
Regression Discontinuity Design
JEL: 
Z12
D72
H23
N33
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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