DP9884 Education Promoted Secularization
|Author(s):||Sascha O. Becker, Markus Nagler, Ludger Woessmann|
|Publication Date:||March 2014|
|Keyword(s):||Education, Germany, History, Secularization|
|JEL(s):||I20, N33, Z12|
|Programme Areas:||Labour Economics, Economic History|
|Link to this Page:||www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9884|
Why did substantial parts of Europe abandon the institutionalized churches around 1900? Empirical studies using modern data mostly contradict the traditional view that education was a leading source of the seismic social phenomenon of secularization. We construct a unique panel dataset of advanced-school enrollment and Protestant church attendance in German cities between 1890 and 1930. Our cross-sectional estimates replicate a positive association. By contrast, in panel models where fixed effects account for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, education – but not income or urbanization – is negatively related to church attendance. In panel models with lagged explanatory variables, educational expansion precedes reduced church attendance.