Il ruolo della religione nei rapporti economici

Dal 29 luglio al 2 agosto 2018 si terrà a Boston il XVIII Congresso mondiale di Storia economica.
Organizzato dalla International Economic History Association e dalla Cliometric Society, con il supporto del MIT – School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences e Management Sloan School – in collaborazione con la Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, l’evento avrà come tema Le ondate della globalizzazione.

Ricordiamo questo appuntamento non solo per la naturale vicinanza che da sempre ci lega ai colleghi storici, specie quelli che operano sul versante economico. V’è infatti la circostanza che tra il centinaio di sessioni nelle quali si articoleranno i lavori, tre – la 010119, la 30103 e la 030119 – sono dedicate all’influenza del fattore religioso nei fatti economici. Altri contributi sono peraltro rintracciabili, isolatamente, all’interno di altre sessioni diversamente specializzate. Ciò testimonia la rilevanza che alla tematica viene attribuita nel mondo accademico in una delle sue massime espressioni a livello internazionale. Lo ricordiamo con compiacimento quale riprova del significato delle riflessioni che stiamo portando avanti anche attraverso il nostro Gruppo di lavoro.

Dal programma del congresso (disponibile on line) abbiamo tratto le parti relative alle sessioni in questione, certi di fare un servizio utile alla comunità dei geografi, segnalando le tematiche attualmente allo studio da parte di numerosi ricercatori.


010119 The Impact of Religions on Economic Outcomes

The aim of this session is to gather new case-studies which expand the literature in various dimensions, such as other denominations, historical periods, or geographic regions. Examples of topics that will be discussed in the proposed session are: the impact of Muslim presence in historical Spain on the accumulation of human capital and innovation during the industrial revolution; the effect of Catholic censorship on socioeconomic outcomes during the Counter-Reformation period (1545-1648); the positive impact of openness and religious tolerance on innovation in Germany; the negative impact of the intensity of religiosity on the accumulation of technological skills in nineteenth-century France; the long-run impact of Catholic missions in shaping cooperation and social capital in Latin America; the role of natural disasters, such as the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, on church membership as a form of social insurance; finally, the long-run impact of religions on gender roles.

Organizers: Francesco Cinnirella, University of Southern Denmark, Sascha Becker, University of Warwick.

Papers (First Half):

  • Adam’s Rib and Women’s Rights: Religiosity and Gender Roles Around the Globe Jeanet Bentzen, University of Copenhagen Hans-Joachim Voth, University of Zurich
  • Church Membership and Social Insurance: Evidence from the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 Philipp Ager, University of Southern Denmark Casper Worm Hansen Lars Lønstrup
  • Christ’s Shadow: Non-Cognitive Skills and Prosocial Behavior Amongst the Guarani Felipe Valencia-Caicedo, University of British Columbia Hans-Joachim Voth, University of Zurich
  • Folklore Melanie Meng Xue, Northwestern University Stelios Michalopoulos
  • Education and Enlightenment in France Lukas Rosenberger Uwe Sunde, University of Munich

Papers (Second Half:)

  • Religion and the Rise and Fall of Islamic Science Eric Chaney, Oxford University
  • Islam, Human Capital, and Innovation in Historical Spain Francesco Cinnirella, University of Southern Denmark Alireza Naghavi, University of Bologna Giovanni Prarolo
  • Religious Tolerance as Engine of Innovation Francesco Cinnirella, University of Southern Denmark
  • Jochen Streb Devotion and Development: Religiosity, Education, and Economic Progress in 19th-Century France Mara Squicciarini, Bocconi University
  • The Economic Effects of Catholic Church Censorship During the Counter-Reformation Sascha Becker, University of Warwick Francisco Pino Jordi Vidal-Robert, University of Sidney


030103 Conversion Out of Poverty? Religion and Development in a Long-Run Global Perspective

Room 4: Samberg Conference Center

The role of religion for social and economic development has been long debated by economists and sociologists. Religious change is an important example of institutional and cultural change, correlated with a range of economic and political outcomes both within and across countries. Recent research in economic history has witnessed renewed interest in the root causes and long-term consequences of religious change in the past. While scholars continue to be fascinated by the long-run impact of the Protestant Reformation and the role of Islam for the Middle East’s divergence from Western Europe, a growing wave of scholarship has emerged, exploring the long-term effects of Christian missionary activities in Africa, Latin America and Asia on contemporary development outcomes. This session aims to raise new questions and methods for better understanding the historical process of religious expansion and its enduring significance for socio-economic development in a global comparative perspective.

Organizer: Felix Meier zu Selhausen, University of Sussex.

Papers ( First Half):

  • Cathedrals and the European Economy, Eltjo Buringh, Utrecht University Bruce Campbell, Queen’s University of Belfast Auke Rijpma, Utrecht University, Jan Luiten van Zanden, Utrecht University
  • Building up Faith: The Persistence of Wealth and Church Investments in Medieval Sweden, Kerstin Enflo, Lund University Alexandra L. Cermeño, Lund University
  • Christ’s Shadow: Non-Cognitive Skills and Pro-Social Behavior Amongst the Guarani, Felipe Valencia Caicedo, Vancouver School of Economics, Hans-Joachim Voth, University of Zurich.

Papers (Second Half):

  • Sex and the Mission: The Conflicting Effects of Early Christian Investments on Sub-Saharan Africa’s HIV Epidemic, Julia Cagé, Science Po Valeria Rueda, University of Oxford
  • The Protestant Legacy: Missions, Literacy and Economic Development in India, Rossella Calvi, Rice University 156 Federico Mantovanelli, Analysis Group, Lauren Hoehn Velasco, Boston College
  • The Economics of Missionary Expansion: Implications for Development, Remi Jedwab, George Washington University, Felix Meier zu Selhausen, Alexander Moradi, University of Sussex


030119 The Interplay of Trade, Religion, and Technology in China and Europe in the 16th-19th Centuries

Room 163: MIT Building 4

Although religion was quite forgotten in the debates on the « Great Divergence », it is now coming on the fore front. Our aim is twofold: focussing on the religious meaning f technology and enhancing the relationship between trade, technology and religion. First, as Koen Vermeir has stressed, after Peter Harrison: « early modern religion was closely intertwined with objects, artifacts, techniques and technologies, in a way we may find difficult to imagine today ». We will then deal with religious institutions, the meaning of trade and technology in the Chinese cosmology and Confucianism. We will also pay attention to the intercultural trade and technological networks. As some studies showed, trade and transmission of technological expertise were accompanied by the dissemination of religions via the Silk Road. The interplay of propagation of religions and trade in the circulation and exchanges of technological expertise still await a thorough investigation.

Organizers: Liliane Hilaire-Perez, University Paris Diderot-7/EHESS, Chuan-Hui Mau, National Tsing-Hua University Sébastien Pautet, University Paris Diderot-7

Papers (First Half):

  • Keepers of the flame? Cathedrals as repositories of technological knowledge in 16th century Europe, Karel Davids, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Three wondrous objects that came across the sea to China in late seventeenth century, Shi Chingfei, National Taiwan
  • From Refreshment to Reflection: the early maritime tea trade in Asia and Europe (1642-1710), Weichung Cheng, Academia Sinica
  • The tin trade and international exchange of technology in the Qing dynasty: Religious artefacts between Tibetan lamas and Jesuit missionaries, Lai Hui-Min, Academia Sinica Techeng Su

Papers (Second Half):

  • New Empirical Evidence for Global History in China: The Local Gazetteers to Analyze Consumption and Trade Networks (XVIth-XIXth centuries), Manuel Perez Garcia, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Maritime trade organisation in late Ming and early Qing ‘s China: Dynamics and constraints, François Gipouloux, EHESS
  • Between Community, Trade and Finance: Communal Agents in the Sephardi Diaspora (18th Century), Evelyne Oliel-Grausz, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne
  • Catholic religion as a way for setting up trade relations and an intermediary for Sino-European technological exchanges in the 19th century, Chuan-Hui Mau, National Tsing-Hua University