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Rhetoric or Reality? An Economic Analysis of the Effects of Religion in Sweden

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  • Berggren, Niclas

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

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

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 118.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Socio-Economics, 1998, pages 571-596.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0118

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Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Religion; rational choice; divorce; abortion; non-payment; children born out of wedlock;

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References

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  1. Jagdish Bhagwati & T. Srinivasan, 1986. "Religion as DUP activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 49-54, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Sander, William, 1985. "Women, Work, and Divorce," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 519-23, June.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Niclas Berggren & Christian Bjørnskov, 2012. "Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law?," ICER Working Papers 02-2012, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  2. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Smokers’ Preference for Divorce and Extramarital Sex," MPRA Paper 40922, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Heineck, Guido, 2004. "Does religion influence the labor supply of married women in Germany?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 307-328, July.
  4. 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.
  5. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Policies against Human Trafficking: The Role of Religion and Political Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 4278, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Kendall, Todd & Tamura, Robert, 2008. "Unmarried fertility, crime, and cocial stigma," MPRA Paper 8031, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

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