Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/214629
Authors: 
Nikolova, Elena
Polansky, Jakub
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
GLO Discussion Paper No. 480
Abstract: 
In "The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy", Robert D. Woodberry (2012) claims that the emergence of stable democracies around the world was influenced by conversionary Protestantism. While Woodberry's historical analysis is exhaustive, the accompanying empirical evidence suffers from severe inconsistencies. We replicate Woodberry's analysis using 26 alternative democracy measures and extend the time period over which the democracy measures are averaged. These two simple modifications lead to the breakdown of Woodberry's results. We find no significant relationship between Protestant missions and the development of democracy, which raises concerns about the robustness and broader applicability of Woodberry's findings. We discuss some alternative explanations for Woodberry's results which we hope can inform future research on this topic.
Subjects: 
religion
democracy
economic history
political institutions
JEL: 
H11
N40
Z12
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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