Presentation Title

Religion and Reconstruction: Religiosity and Manufacturing Investment and Efficiency during the “Second American Revolution”

Advisor Information

Christopher Decker

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room B

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 3:15 PM

End Date

8-3-2013 3:30 PM

Abstract

The relationship between religion and economic performance remains a controversial topic in the economic literature despite the use of many novel datasets over the last decade. Religion is of interest as a measure of social capital, the value of social connections that affects economic productivity. Religious membership is one of the few sources of data available for an empirical investigation of the relationship between social capital and economic growth and efficiency in 19th century America. Did religious membership in the United States play an important role in its economic development after the Civil War as it became one of the leading industrialized nations? The relationship between religious membership and manufacturing investment growth and efficiency during the Reconstruction period was examined using original religious denomination membership data reconstructed from federal censuses. The main hypothesis was counties with higher rates of religious membership in 1870 would have higher growth in manufacturing investment from 1870-1880 and higher manufacturing efficiency over the period 1870-1900. A variant of Max Weber’s (1952) hypothesis was also tested, that counties with higher membership in the pietistic denominations Weber identified would also have higher growth in manufacturing investment and higher manufacturing efficiency.

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Mar 8th, 3:15 PM Mar 8th, 3:30 PM

Religion and Reconstruction: Religiosity and Manufacturing Investment and Efficiency during the “Second American Revolution”

Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room B

The relationship between religion and economic performance remains a controversial topic in the economic literature despite the use of many novel datasets over the last decade. Religion is of interest as a measure of social capital, the value of social connections that affects economic productivity. Religious membership is one of the few sources of data available for an empirical investigation of the relationship between social capital and economic growth and efficiency in 19th century America. Did religious membership in the United States play an important role in its economic development after the Civil War as it became one of the leading industrialized nations? The relationship between religious membership and manufacturing investment growth and efficiency during the Reconstruction period was examined using original religious denomination membership data reconstructed from federal censuses. The main hypothesis was counties with higher rates of religious membership in 1870 would have higher growth in manufacturing investment from 1870-1880 and higher manufacturing efficiency over the period 1870-1900. A variant of Max Weber’s (1952) hypothesis was also tested, that counties with higher membership in the pietistic denominations Weber identified would also have higher growth in manufacturing investment and higher manufacturing efficiency.