Religious Freedom and the Unintended Consequences of State Religion
AbstractWe use a cross-section of 59 countries to examine the impact of state religion and of constitutional protection of religion on the degree of religiosity within a country. Our measure of religiosity is the percentage of the population who attend religious services at least once a week. We find that both establishment of a state religion and constitutional protection of religion have significant (and opposing) effects. The existence of a state religion reduces attendance by 14.6–16.7% of the total population, whereas each decade of constitutional protection increases attendance by approximately 1.2% of the population. We also find that other measures of religious regulation have significant negative effects on attendance. Ironically, the motive behind establishment of a particular state religion usually is to strengthen that religion, but the effects are ultimately to undermine the vitality of the established religion.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.
Volume (Year): 71 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
- K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
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- Pena López, J.A. & Sanchez Santos, J.M., 2005. "Mercados de creencias versus hipótesis de la secularización: aspectos positivos y normativos/Markets of beliefs vs. scularization hupothecis: positive and normative aspects," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 23, pages 837-861, Diciembre.
- Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011.
"Is the importance of religion in daily life related to social trust? Cross-country and cross-state comparisons,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 459-480.
- 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.
- Oliveira, Livio Luiz Soares de & Neto, Giácomo Balbinotto, 2013.
"A teoria do mercado religioso : evidências empíricas da literatura
[The theory of religious market : empirical evidence from the literature]," MPRA Paper 51716, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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