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Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers
Peer Review Status: Unrefereed
Title: Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia
Authors: Becker, Sascha
Woessmann, Ludger
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Citation: Becker S & Woessmann L (2008) Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia. Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2008-20.
Keywords: gender gap
JEL Code(s): I21
Issue Date: Sep-2008
Series/Report no.: Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2008-20
Abstract: Martin Luther urged each town to have a girls’ school so that girls would learn to read the Gospel, evoking a surge of building girls’ schools in Protestant areas. Using county- and town-level data from the first Prussian census of 1816, we show that a larger share of Protestants decreased the gender gap in basic education. This result holds when using only the exogenous variation in Protestantism due to a county’s or town’s distance to Wittenberg, the birthplace of the Reformation. Similar results are found for the gender gap in literacy among the adult population in 1871.
Type: Working or Discussion Paper
Affiliation: Economics
University of Munich

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