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The Determinants of Church Attendance and Religious Human Capital in Germany: Evidence from Panel Data

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  • Guido Heineck

Abstract

This paper explores determinants of church attendance and the formation of 'religious human capital' in Germany within a Becker-style allocation-of-time framework. The analysis is based on data derived from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). Taking advantage of the longitudinal structure of the data, we are able to control for unobservable heterogeneity by applying a random-effects ordered probit model to estimate separate attendance equations as well as 'faith intensity' equations for males and females. The results suggest support for previous findings based on British and North American data that age is a strong predictor for church attendance. Economic variables only weakly account for some of the variation inasmuch as high non-labour income releases time that can be devoted to religious activities. Results for differences in partnership status point to the complementary character of religious experience, whereas the findings for spouses with different religions are more ambiguous. Having at hand a presumably unique situation in the regional structure of religious traditions, we find, not too surprisingly, that strength of belief is much lower in the formerly atheistic East Germany. It is however not clear-cut that North-South or Protestant-Catholic divides exist in religious participation.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.38523.de/dp263.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 263.

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Length: 23 p.
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp263

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Keywords: Religious behaviour; allocation of time; random-effects ordered probit model;

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References

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  1. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  2. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1977. "Household Allocation of Time and Religiosity: Replication and Extension," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 415-23, April.
  3. Ekelund, Robert B. & Hebert, Robert F. & Tollison, Robert D. & Anderson, Gary M. & Davidson, Audrey B., 1997. "Sacred Trust: The Medieval Church as an Economic Firm," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103373, October.
  4. Johannes Schwarze & Hanfried H. Andersen & Silke Anger, 2000. "Self-Rated Health and Changes in Self-Rated Health as Predictors of Mortality: First Evidence from German Panel Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 203, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Berggren, Niclas, 1997. "Rhetoric or reality? An economic analysis of the effects of religion in Sweden," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 571-596.
  6. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Smoking, discount rates, and returns to education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 561-566, December.
  7. John Sawkins & Paul Seaman & Hector Williams, 1997. "Church attendance in Great Britain: An ordered logit approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 125-134.
  8. Smith, Ian & Sawkins, John W & Seaman, Paul T, 1998. "The Economics of Religious Participation: A Cross-Country Study," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 25-43.
  9. William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1994. "Education and Health: Where There's Smoke There's an Instrument," NBER Working Papers 4949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Butler, J S & Moffitt, Robert, 1982. "A Computationally Efficient Quadrature Procedure for the One-Factor Multinomial Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 761-64, May.
  11. Sullivan, Dennis H, 1985. "Simultaneous Determination of Church Contributions and Church Attendance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(2), pages 309-20, April.
  12. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
  13. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  14. Cameron, Samuel, 1999. "Faith, frequency, and the allocation of time: a micro level study of religious capital and participation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 439-456.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Per-Ola Maneschiƶld & Bengt Haraldsson, 2007. "Religious Norms and Labour Supply of Married Women in Sweden," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 41-56, Spring.
  3. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2004:i:1:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Esa Mangeloja, 2003. "Application of Economic Concepts on Religious Behavior," Others, EconWPA 0310003, EconWPA.
  5. Men-Andri Benz & Egon Franck & Urs Meister, 2005. "Strategic Choice of Celibacy in the Catholic Church," Working Papers, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) 0042, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  6. Men-Andri Benz & Reto Foellmi & Egon Franck & Urs Meister, 2009. "Should the Catholic Church abolish the rule of Celibacy?," Working Papers, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) 0115, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  7. Arano, Kathleen G. & Blair, Benjamin F., 2008. "Modeling religious behavior and economic outcome: Is the relationship bicausal?: Evidence from a survey of Mississippi households," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 2043-2053, October.

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