Catholics are more likely to support government intervention in the economy than Protestants and also have a stronger preference for sharing wealth equally, a European Central Bank study said.
The research paper also said Max Weber’s theories about the Protestant work ethic were supported by the results of the study and that they apply more widely than thought, including in the choice of political institutions and in explaining income inequality.
“We do find Protestant municipalities to exhibit clearly higher income inequality,” the study by Christoph Basten and Frank Betz said.
“Relative to Roman Catholicism, Reformed Protestantism has curbed preferences for redistribution and for government intervention in the economy,” it said, and added the impact of religion on income was not as significant.
Moreover, the research paper found that Weber’s work better explains economic development than that of Karl Marx, the father of socialism, who saw culture reflecting the economic order, the research paper found.