The Effect of Education on Religion: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws
AbstractFor over a century, social scientists have debated how educational attainment impacts religious belief. In this paper, I use Canadian compulsory schooling laws to identify the relationship between completed schooling and later religiosity. I find that higher levels of education lead to lower levels of religious participation later in life. An additional year of education leads to a 4-percentage-point decline in the likelihood that an individual identifies with any religious tradition; the estimates suggest that increases in schooling can explain most of the large rise in non-affiliation in Canada in recent decades.
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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-04-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2011-04-30 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2011-04-30 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2011-04-30 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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