Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic
Arruñada, Benito (2010), “Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic,” The Economic Journal, 120(547), 890-918.
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This article develops two hypotheses about economically-relevant values of Christian believers, according to which Protestants should work more and more effectively, as in the “work ethic” argument of Max Weber, or display a stronger “social ethic” that would lead them to monitor each other’s conduct, support political and legal institutions and hold more homogeneous values. Tests using current survey data confirm substantial partial correlations and possible different “effects” in mutual social control, institutional performance and homogeneity of values but no difference in work ethics. Protestantism therefore seems conducive to capitalist economic development, not by the direct psychological route of the Weberian work ethic but rather by promoting an alternative social ethic that facilitates impersonal trade.
Christopher L. Colvin and Matthew McCracken (2016),“Work Ethic, Social Ethic, No Ethic: Measuring the Economic Values of ModernChristians,” Journal of AppliedEconometrics (DOI: 10.1002/jae.2543).