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Is Fertility Related to Religiosity? Evidence from Spain

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  • Brañas-Garza, Pablo

    ()
    (Middlesex University Business School, London)

  • Neuman, Shoshana

    ()
    (Bar-Ilan University)

Abstract

The paper explores the relationship between religiosity and fertility among Catholics in Spain, thereby answering the question whether the two parallel trends of dramatic drops in fertility and in religiosity are inter-related. It looks at current religiosity as well as exposure to religiosity during childhood. A unique, rich, data set is employed. It includes various dimensions of religiosity: respondent’s religious affiliation; if he is Catholic- his current mass attendance (six levels) and his current prayer habits (eleven levels); spouse’s religious affiliation; parental (maternal and paternal) and respondent's mass attendance when the respondent was a child (nine levels); Catholic education during childhood (yes/no). The multi-facet data on religiosity (rather than a single dichotomous variable) facilitates a sophisticated analysis with rigorous conclusions. The sample is restricted to married Catholic (female and male) respondents who were raised by Catholic parents, and are married to a Catholic spouse, in order to have a homogenous sample and to focus on the effect of the level (intensity) of religiosity (rather than religious affiliation) on fertility. Fertility is related to the various dimensions of religiosity- first using cross-tabulation and then using OLS regression. We find that fertility is not related to current intensity of religiosity. Exposure to religious activities during childhood has a significant effect on fertility of women (but not men): interestingly a father who was actively attending mass services has a positive effect on his daughter’s future fertility (increasing the number of kids by about 0.8) while the mother’s active mass participation has a reverse negative effect (leading to a decrease of one kid). Own participation in mass services during childhood has a positive effect on fertility- leading to an increase of 0.6 kids if the girl attended mass services intensively This study indicates the significance of childhood experience in shaping the 'taste for children'. It also suggests that there is no direct link between the fast secularization in Spain and the decline in birth rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2192.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2192

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Keywords: Catholic; Spain; parental religiosity; church attendance; prayer; taste for children; fertility; religion;

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References

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  1. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot : Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," DELTA Working Papers 1999-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Neuman, Shoshana, 2006. "Intergenerational Transmission of 'Religious Capital': Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 2183, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Lehrer, Evelyn L, 1996. "Religion as a Determinant of Marital Fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 173-96, May.
  10. Pablo BraÒas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2004. "Analyzing Religiosity within an Economic Framework: The Case of Spanish Catholics," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 5-22, 03.
  11. Joëlle Sleebos, 2003. "Low Fertility Rates in OECD Countries: Facts and Policy Responses," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 15, OECD Publishing.
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  20. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Juan C. Cárdenas & Máximo Rossi, 2009. "Gender, education and reciprocal generosity: Evidence from 1,500 experiment subjects," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1609, Department of Economics - dECON.
  2. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & García Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana, 2007. "Unravelling Secularization: An International Study," IZA Discussion Papers 3251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ekert-Jaffe, Olivia & Grossbard, Shoshana, 2007. "Does Community Property Discourage Unpartnered Births?," IZA Discussion Papers 2816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Thomas Baudin, 2008. "Religion and fertility : the French connection," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne v08089, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  5. Bar-El, Ronen & García Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana & Tobol, Yossi, 2010. "The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 4980, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Berno Buechel & Tim Hellmann & Michael M. Pichler, 2011. "The Dynamics of Continuous Cultural Traits in Social Networks," Working Papers 457, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
  7. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Thomas Baudin, 2008. "Religion and Fertility : The French Connection," Post-Print halshs-00348829, HAL.
  9. repec:beb:wpaper:201401 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Pablo Branas-Garza & Maria Paz Espinosa & Ayca Ebru Giritligil, 2014. "Democratic values transmission," SEET Working Papers 2014-01, BELIS, Istanbul Bilgi University.

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