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Regular version of the site

Article

A comparative study of work ethic among Muslims and Protestants: Multilevel evidence

Social Compass. 2015. Vol. 62. No. 4. P. 615-631.

This article deals with the recently revealed paradox that contemporary Muslims score higher on Protestant work ethic than contemporary Protestants. The author tests whether this phenomenon is supported by World Values Survey (WVS) data. According to Inglehart’s theory of post-materialist shift, work ethic should be stronger in the developing societies where there is a lack of existential security. The author also tests whether the effects of the Protestant work ethic extend beyond the religious population of Protestant countries. The multilevel models built on 25,437 respondents in 55 countries show no significant difference in work ethic between Muslims and Protestants. Living in a historically Protestant society does not increase work ethic, but being religious in a Protestant society does. As countries develop, work ethic is likely to decrease. This poses further questions about the universal features of religious ethics and the non-religious factors explaining the economic progress associated with the Protestant work ethic.