SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
Justina AV Fischer
Protestantism and Government Spending: a Negative Relationship? An Empirical Application to Swiss Cantons
() and Friedrich Schneider
Abstract: Recent empirical growth literature suggests that cultural
factors play a decisive role in economic development, while empirical
evidence for their impact on government activity remains scant. In this
paper, we conjecture based on Weber’s Protestant Ethics that ‚Protestant
values’ such as self-reliance and austerity should affect both the size and
scope of governments. More specifically, we hypothesize that smaller
government budgets should be observable in more Protestant jurisdictions.
Using a panel of sub-federal expenditure in 26 Swiss cantons from 1980 to
1998 we find supporting evidence, observing that the share of Protestants
in the cantonal residential population exerts a spending dampening impact.
Our results suggest that cultural factors should not be omitted from future
public finance analyses.
Keywords: Protestantism; Culture; Government Spending; Public Finance; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: A13; H30; H72; Z10; (follow links to similar papers)
26 pages, December 19, 2007
Before downloading any of the electronic versions below
you should read our statement on
for viewing Postscript files and the
Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.
Full text versions of the paper:
Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Helena Lundin ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ()
or Helena Lundin ().
Design by Joachim Ekebom