Lambrecht, Thijs A. (2001): Nine protestants are to be esteemed worth ten catholics. Representing religion, labour and economic performance in pre-Industrial Europe, c.1650 - c.1800. Forthcoming in:
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Religion was one of the factors that was frequently identified by seventeenth- and eighteenth-century economists as exerting an important influence on the pre-industrial European economies. These writers were especially interested in the economic effects of the Reformation on the economic perfomance of European countries. Nearly all authors argued that Protestantism and economic success were positively correlated. In this paper, the arguments of economic writers are reviewed with reference to the issue of religious holidays. This analysis shows that a high number of religious holidays, on which nearly all forms of manual labour was forbidden, were portrayed as detrimental to the economy.