N Controversies Essays On Religion In Politics
We directly test the implications of our framework for resource allocation using rich microdata.
We assemble new, highly disaggregated data on the degrees received by and occupational outcomes of German university graduates and on construction events at the town-by-year level, across over 2,000 German towns.
We begin to evaluate these hypotheses by documenting the new equilibrium in the market for political legitimacy in the years after 1517, when Martin Luther first circulated his famous 95 Theses.
As indicators of the shifting bargain between secular and religious authorities, we examine the expropriation of monasteries and wealth transfers from the Catholic Church to secular lords.
Transfers of resources from the control of church elites to secular lords occurred in both Catholic and Protestant territories but were particularly pronounced in the latter.
We examine rich microdata on the allocation of resources in early modern Germany and find evidence supporting both hypotheses.
While the Reformation was a religious movement, we find that its unintended consequence was to promote economic secularization: a significant shift in the balance of power toward secular authorities and a sharp and immediate reallocation of resources toward secular purposes.
Increased labor demand by enriched and empowered rulers, and the decline in clerical services required for salvation in Protestant theology, will reduce church sector labor demand relative to the secular sector.
As a consequence, returns to investments in human capital specific to church careers will fall, and forward-looking students will shift their human capital investments accordingly.
In this article, we study the paradigmatic case of the Protestant Reformation: the moment when the most powerful institution in Western Europe—the Catholic Church—experienced a profound competitive shock.