Work ethic, social ethic, no ethic: measuring the economic values of modern Christians.

(with Matthew McCracken), Journal of Applied Econometrics, online early (August 2016).
DOI: 10.1002/jae.2543

Benito Arruñada finds evidence of a distinct Protestant social ethic in the ISSP’s 1998 Religion II Survey (Economic Journal 2010; 120: 890-918). We replicate Arruñada’s results using his broad definition of Protestantism and our new narrow definition, which includes only those ascetic denominations that Max Weber singled out for possessing a strong capitalist work ethic. We then extend this analysis to the ISSP’s 2008 Religion III Survey, the most recent comparable international questionnaire on religious attitudes and religious change. We find no evidence of a Calvinist work ethic, and suggest that Arruñada’s Protestant social ethic continues into the twenty-first century.

Data for replication available at: