Does Church Attendance Cause People to Vote? Using Blue Laws' Repeal to Estimate the Effect of Religiosity on Voter Turnout
AbstractRegular church attendance is strongly associated with a higher probability of voting. It is an open question as to whether this association, which has been confirmed in numerous surveys, is causal. We use the repeal of the laws restricting Sunday retail activity ("Blue laws") to measure the effects of church-going on political participation. The repeal of Blue Laws caused a 5 percent decrease in church attendance. We measure the effect of Blue Laws' repeal on political participation and find that following the repeal turnout falls by approximately 1 percentage point. This turnout decline, which is statistically significant and fairly robust across model specifications, is consistent with the large effect of church attendance on turnout reported in the literature, and suggests that church attendance may have significant causal influence on voter turnout.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14303.
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
- J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2008-09-13 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2008-09-13 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jonathan Gruber & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002.
"Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier?,"
NBER Working Papers
8872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Evelyn Lehrer, 1996.
"Religion as a determinant of marital fertility,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 173-196, June.
- Hull, Brooks B. & Bold, Frederick, 1995. "Preaching matters: Replication and extension," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 143-149, June.
- Lipford, Jody & McCormick, Robert E. & Tollison, Robert D., 1993. "Preaching matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 235-250, August.
- Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
- Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2006. "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," NBER Working Papers 12410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Evelyn Lehrer & Carmel Chiswick, 1993. "Religion as a determinant of marital stability," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 385-404, August.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Arnaud Chevalier & Orla Doyle, 2012.
"Schooling and Voter Turnout - Is there an American Exception?,"
201213, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Chevalier, Arnaud & Doyle, Orla, 2012. "Schooling and Voter Turnout: Is there an American Exception?," IZA Discussion Papers 6539, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Arnaud Chevalier & Orla Doyle, 2012. "SCHOOLING AND VOTER TURNOUT: Is there an American Exception?," Working Papers 201210, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- Daniel M. Hungerman, 2011. "Substitution and Stigma: Evidence on Religious Competition from the Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal," NBER Working Papers 17589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cohen-Zada, Danny & Sander, William, 2010. "Religious Participation versus Shopping: What Makes People Happier?," IZA Discussion Papers 5198, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- R. Mark R. Isaac & Douglas A. Norton, 2011. "Just the Facts Ma'am: A Case Study of the Reversal of Corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department," Working Papers wp2011_08_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
- Baris Yoruk, 2012.
"The impact of charitable subsidies on religious giving and attendance: Evidence from panel data,"
12-06, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
- Barış K. Yörük, 2013. "The Impact of Charitable Subsidies on Religious Giving and Attendance: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1708-1721, December.
- Daniel M. Hungerman, 2011. "The Effect of Education on Religion: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Working Papers 16973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dara N. Lee, 2011.
"The Impact of Repealing Sunday Closing Laws on Educational Attainment,"
1117, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
- Dara N. Lee, 2013. "The Impact of Repealing Sunday Closing Laws on Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 286-310.
- Baris Yoruk, 2013. "Are Generous People More Likely to Vote?," Discussion Papers 13-10, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.