Religion, income inequality, and the size of the government
AbstractRecent empirical research has demonstrated that countries with higher levels of religiosity are characterized by greater income inequality. We argue that this is due to the lower level of government services demanded in more religious countries. Religion motivates individuals to engage in charitable giving and this leads them to prefer making their contributions privately and voluntarily rather than through the state. To the extent that citizen preferences are reflected in policy outcomes, religiosity results in lower levels of taxes and hence lower levels of spending on both public goods and redistribution. Since measures of income typically do not fully take into account private transfers received, this increases measured income inequality. We formalize these ideas in a general equilibrium political economy model and also show that the implications of our model are supported by cross-country data.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.
Volume (Year): 30 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411
Religion; Voluntary donations; Taxation; Redistribution; Income inequality;
Other versions of this item:
- Ceyhun Elgin & Turkmen Goksel & Mehmet Y. Gurdal & Cuneyt Orman, 2012. "Religion, Income Inequality, and the Size of the Government," Working Papers 1208, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
- Ceyhun Elgin & Turkmen Goksel & Mehmet Y. Gurdal, 2010. "Religion, Income Inequality, and the Size of the Government," Working Papers 2010/12, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
- Elgin, Ceyhun & Goksel, Turkmen & Gurdal, Mehmet Y & Orman, Cuneyt, 2010. "Religion, Income Inequality, and the Size of the Government," MPRA Paper 25760, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2002.
"Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel,"
NBER Working Papers
8931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999.
"Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?,"
NBER Working Papers
6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2005.
"Deliver us from evil: religion as insurance,"
PSE Working Papers
- Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005.
"Why Is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?,"
297, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is fiscal policy often procyclical?," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000465, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," NBER Working Papers 11600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is fiscal policy often procyclical?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2090, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy often Procyclical?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1556, CESifo Group Munich.
- Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998.
"The Quality of Government,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arthur C. Brooks, 2005. "Does Social Capital Make You Generous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(1), pages 1-15.
- William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1991.
"Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
624, UCLA Department of Economics.
- William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 145-160, Fall.
- W. G. Gale & J. K. Scholz, . "Intergenerational transfers and the accumulation of wealth," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1019-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman & Reis Soares, Rodrigo, 2001.
"Accountability and corruption : political institutions matter,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2708, The World Bank.
- Daniel Lederman & Norman V. Loayza & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Accountability And Corruption: Political Institutions Matter," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 1-35, 03.
- McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Evelyn Lehrer & Carmel Chiswick, 1993. "Religion as a determinant of marital stability," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 385-404, August.
- Schneider, Friedrich G., 2007. "Shadow Economies and Corruption All Over the World: New Estimates for 145 Countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 1(9), pages 1-66.
- Jeremy Philip Thornton & Sara Helms, 2013. "Afterlife incentives in charitable giving," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(19), pages 2779-2791, July.
- Evelyn Lehrer, 1996.
"Religion as a determinant of marital fertility,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 173-196, June.
- Scheve, Kenneth & Stasavage, David, 2006. "Religion and Preferences for Social Insurance," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 255-286, July.
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- repec:pse:psecon:2005-43 is not listed on IDEAS
- Donald Cox & Fredric Raines, 1985. "Interfamily Transfers and Income Redistribution," NBER Chapters, in: Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being, pages 393-426 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
- Robert Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2003. "International Determinants of Religiosity," NBER Working Papers 10147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kessler, Denis & Masson, Andre, 1989. "Bequest and Wealth Accumulation: Are Some Pieces of the Puzzle Missing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 141-52, Summer.
- Cagri S. Kumru & Saran Sarntisart, 2013. "Implications of Alternative Banking Systems," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2013-601, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.