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Religion and earnings: Is it good to be an atheist with religious parental background?

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  • Cornelissen, Thomas
  • Jirjahn, Uwe

Abstract

Using German employee data, we find that being raised by two religious parents and having no current religious affiliation is associated with higher earnings. This conforms to the hypothesis that people who are raised religiously and reject religion as adults are economically more successful as they combine a strong internalized work ethic with an increased interest in present consumption (as opposed to afterlife consumption).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 117 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 905-908

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:3:p:905-908

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Keywords: Parents’ religion; Current religious affiliation; Earnings;

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  1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
  2. L. Bettendorf & E. Dijkgraaf, 2007. "Religion and income: heterogeneity between countries," Papers on Economics of Religion 07/04, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  3. Cornelissen, Thomas & Jirjahn, Uwe, 2012. "September 11th and the earnings of Muslims in Germany—The moderating role of education and firm size," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 490-504.
  4. Benito Arruñada, 2010. "Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic," Working Papers 497, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Orsolya Lelkes, 2002. "Tasting Freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," CASE Papers case59, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  6. 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.
  7. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
  8. Tomes, Nigel, 1985. "Religion and the Earnings Function," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 245-50, May.
  9. Todd P. Steen, 2004. "The relationship between religion and earnings: recent evidence from the NLS Youth Cohort," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(5/6), pages 572-581, May.
  10. Lipford, Jody W. & Tollison, Robert D., 2003. "Religious participation and income," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 249-260, June.
  11. Nigel Tomes, 1984. "The Effects of Religion and Denomination on Earnings and the Returns to Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 472-488.
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Cited by:
  1. Bruna Bruno & Damiano Fiorillo, 2014. "Voluntary work and wages," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2014/05, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  2. Bruno, Bruna & Fiorillo, Damiano, 2013. "Voluntary work and labour income," MPRA Paper 43995, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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