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Rhetoric or reality? An economic analysis of the effects of religion in Sweden

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  • Berggren, Niclas

Abstract

The present paper begins by outlining a theoretical, rational- choice approach to understanding how religious beliefs and affiliations might influence the behavior of individuals. This influence arises from an expectation that the god in question punishes certain forms of action and from social reprimands of devotees. In particular, four specific types of behavior are investigated: the divorce, abortion, non-payment, and children- born-out-of-wedlock rates. It is demonstrated why it is to be expected that Christian religious involvement discourages all of these activities. Regression analysis is then used to test the theory in the case of Sweden in the year 1990, and the importance of religion is strongly confirmed for all four types of behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 26 (1997)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 571-596

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:26:y:1997:i:6:p:571-596

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Gary M. Anderson and Robert U. Tollison, 1992. "Morality and Monopoly: The Constitutional Political Economy of Religious Rules," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 12(2), pages 373-392, Fall.
  2. Anderson, Gary M, 1988. "Mr. Smith and the Preachers: The Economics of Religion in the Wealth of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 1066-88, October.
  3. Medoff, M. H. & Skov, I. Lee, 1992. "Religion and behavior: An empirical analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 143-151.
  4. Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1995. "The Effect of Incomes, Wages, and AFDC Benefits on Marital Disruption," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 19-41.
  5. Sander, William, 1985. "Women, Work, and Divorce," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 519-23, June.
  6. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  7. Ekelund, Robert Jr. & Hebert, Robert F. & Tollison, Robert D., 1992. "The economics of sin and redemption : Purgatory as a market-pull innovation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-15, September.
  8. Jagdish Bhagwati & T. Srinivasan, 1986. "Religion as DUP activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 49-54, January.
  9. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  10. Ekelund, Robert B, Jr & Hebert, Robert F & Tollison, Robert D, 1989. "An Economic Model of the Medieval Church: Usury as a Form of Rent Seeking," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 307-31, Fall.
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Cited by:
  1. Guido Heineck, 2001. "The Determinants of Church Attendance and Religious Human Capital in Germany: Evidence from Panel Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 263, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 161-185, June.
  3. Rupasingha, Anil & Chilton, John b., 2009. "Religious adherence and county economic growth in the US," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 438-450, October.
  4. Kendall, Todd & Tamura, Robert, 2008. "Unmarried fertility, crime, and cocial stigma," MPRA Paper 8031, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2009. "Is the Importance of Religion in Daily Life Related to Social Trust? Cross-Country and Cross-State Comparisons," Ratio Working Papers 142, The Ratio Institute.
  6. Hollander, Gideon & Kahana, Nava & Lecker, Tikva, 2003. "Religious and secular human capital: an economic model," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 489-498, November.
  7. Guido Heineck, 2002. "Does Religion Influence the Labour Supply of Married Women in Germany?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 278, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Granger, Maury D. & Price, Gregory N., 2007. "The tree of science and original sin: Do christian religious beliefs constrain the supply of scientists?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 144-160, February.
  9. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Smokers’ Preference for Divorce and Extramarital Sex," MPRA Paper 40922, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Per-Ola Maneschiöld & Bengt Haraldsson, 2007. "Religious Norms and Labour Supply of Married Women in Sweden," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 41-56, Spring.
  11. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Policies against Human Trafficking: The Role of Religion and Political Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 4278, CESifo Group Munich.

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