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The Religious Transition. A Long-run Perspective

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  • Erich Gundlach
  • Martin Paldam

Abstract

We use the largest common factor in 14 items reported in the World Values Surveys as a robust measure of religiosity. This measure is held to identify the importance of religion in all aspects of people's life. The level of religiosity differs by about 50 percentage points between rich and poor countries. We interpret the change in religiosity in terms of demand and supply. Most components of the demand for religion are reduced by rising levels of per capita income. Rising per capita income also reduces the role of religious institutions as suppliers of core collective goods. Aspects of demand and supply are integrated in a CES production function framework that explains the direction of causality in the observed negative correlation between the level of per capita income and religiosity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c015_039.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_039

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Keywords: Religiosity; economic development; transition; collective goods; biogeography;

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References

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  1. William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  2. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2008. "Two Views on Institutions and Development: The Grand Transition vs the Primacy of Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 65-100, 02.
  3. Gundlach, Erich & Paldam, Martin, 2009. "The transition of corruption: From poverty to honesty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 146-148, June.
  4. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  5. Krueger, Anne O, 1996. " Political Economy of Agricultural Policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 163-75, April.
  6. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Robert B. Ekelund Jr. & Robert F. Hebert & Robert D. Tollison, 2008. "The Marketplace of Christianity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550717, December.
  9. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
  10. Lipford, Jody & McCormick, Robert E. & Tollison, Robert D., 1993. "Preaching matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 235-250, August.
  11. Gundlach, Erich & Paldam, Martin, 2009. "A farewell to critical junctures: Sorting out long-run causality of income and democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 340-354, September.
  12. Opfinger, Matthias, 2011. "Religious Market Theory vs. Secularization: The Role of Religious Diversity Revisited," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-475, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  13. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Opfinger, Matthias & Gundlach, Erich, 2011. "Religiosity as a determinant of happiness," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 63, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  2. Kenneth Harttgen & Matthias Opfinger, 2012. "National Identity and Religious Diversity," Research Papers in Economics 2012-07, University of Trier, Department of Economics.

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