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Socioeconomic value of religion and the impacts of ideological change in China

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  • Cao, Shixiong
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    Abstract

    Ideology is a primary factor that influences socioeconomic development and social stability, particularly in rapidly changing developing countries such as China. To understand the socioeconomic value of ideology during China's recent history, and the impacts of ideological change, I evaluated the potential links with socioeconomic development by presenting a historical perspective on the changing Chinese ideology. Since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, China has followed a bumpy road created by the contradiction between official government atheism, the lack of an ideology with a strong ethical grounding, and the desire of many people to believe in a higher power (i.e., a divinity). This contradiction may have increased social transaction costs, decreased social stability and economic efficiency, and damaged environmental conservation. Although China has experienced an extraordinary economic boom in the past three decades, the socioeconomic system may be more fragile than is commonly believed because it has been undermined by this ideological confusion. To promote sustainable socioeconomic development, China's government, scientists, and citizens should seek a new ideology that accommodates the desire for more religious freedom by promoting prosocial institutional reform.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 2621-2626

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:29:y:2012:i:6:p:2621-2626

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

    Related research

    Keywords: Religion; Ideology; Atheism; Theism; Sustainable development; Socioeconomic development;

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    1. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Lance Brouthers & Dana-Nicoleta Lascu & Steve Werner, 2008. "Competitive Irrationality in Transitional Economies: Are Communist Managers Less Irrational?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 397-408, December.
    7. Shi, Tian, 2004. "Ecological economics as a policy science: rhetoric or commitment towards an improved decision-making process on sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 23-36, January.
    8. Fligstein, Neil & Choo, Jennifer, 2005. "Law and Corporate Governance," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt6nt8622j, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
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