Department of Economics and Business Economics

The political economy of churches in Denmark over 700 years

Research output: Working paperResearch


  • wp15_11

    Submitted manuscript, 744 KB, PDF document

This paper reports new macro time-series for the number and size of churches in Denmark from year 1300 to 2000. Church densities are defined as the series per capita. The densities are interpreted as a proxy for religiosity. It is falling throughout all 700 years, but two events gave an extra fall: 1) The Reformation of Catholicism into Lutheranism in the first half of the 16th century caused a fall of 9%, and 2) modern economic growth after 1820 caused a fourfold fall as predicted by the theory of the religious transition. We suggest that similar data for all European countries would show the same strong reaction of church densities to modern economic growth.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherInstitut for Økonomi, Aarhus Universitet
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2015
SeriesEconomics Working Papers

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