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Religion, Human Capital Investments and the Family in the United States

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  • Lehrer, Evelyn L.

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Abstract

This paper critically reviews what is known, based on analyses of micro-level U.S. data, about the role of religion in various interrelated decisions that people make over the life cycle, including investments in secular human capital, cohabitation, marriage, divorce, family size and employment. It also identifies gaps in our knowledge, and suggests agenda items for future research in the field. These include use of statistical models that allow for non-linearities in the effects associated with religious participation; consideration of contextual effects; and analyses that address anomalies found in earlier work regarding patterns of non-marital sex and divorce among conservative Protestants. Further work is also needed to increase our understanding of the role that religious factors are playing as various dimensions of the second demographic transition, along with elements of "American exceptionalism," continue to unfold in the U.S.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4279.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Religion, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4279

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Keywords: religiosity; religion;

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References

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  1. Evelyn Lehrer, 2004. "Religiosity as a Determinant of Educational Attainment: The Case of Conservative Protestant Women in the United States," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 203-219, 06.
  2. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Labor Supply and Investment in Child Quality: A Study of Jewish and Non-Jewish Women," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 700-703, November.
  3. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-97, August.
  4. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
  5. Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "The Changing Nature of Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alícia Adserà, 2004. "Changing fertility rates in developed countries. The impact of labor market institutions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 17-43, February.
  7. Ross Stolzenberg & Mary Blair-Loy & Linda J. Waite, . "Religious Participation Over the Early Life Course: Age and Family Life Cycle Effects on Church Membership," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 94-14, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  8. Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "Who Escapes? The Relation of Churchgoing and Other Background Factors to the Socioeconomic Performance of Black Male Youths from Inner-City Tracts," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 353-376 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
  10. Gruber Jonathan H, 2005. "Religious Market Structure, Religious Participation, and Outcomes: Is Religion Good for You?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, September.
  11. Evelyn Lehrer & Carmel Chiswick, 1993. "Religion as a determinant of marital stability," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 385-404, August.
  12. Jonathan Gruber, 2005. "Religious Market Structure, Religious Participation, and Outcomes: Is Religion Good for You?," NBER Working Papers 11377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Bargain, Olivier & González, Libertad & Keane, Claire & Özcan, Berkay, 2010. "Female Labour Supply and Divorce: New Evidence from Ireland," Papers WP346, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  2. Mariya Aleksynska & Yann Algan, 2010. "Economic and Cultural Assimilation and Integration of Immigration in Europe," Working Papers 2010-29, CEPII research center.

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