Religion, Income Inequality, and the Size of the Government
AbstractRecent empirical research has demonstrated that countries with higher levels of religiosity are characterized by greater income inequality. We argue that this is due to the lower level of government services demanded in more religious countries. Religion requires that individuals make financial sacrifices and this leads the religious to prefer making their contributions voluntarily rather than through mandatory means. To the extent that citizen preferences are reflected in policy outcomes, religiosity results in lower taxes, which in turn implies lower levels of spending on both public goods and redistribution. Since measures of income typically do not fully take into account the part of income coming from donations received, this increases measured income inequality. We formalize these ideas in a general equilibrium political economy model and also show that the implications of our model are supported by cross-country data.
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 University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25760.
Date of creation: 17 Sep 2010
Date of revision:
religion; voluntary donations; taxation; redistribution; income inequality;
Other versions of this item:
- Elgin, Ceyhun & Goksel, Turkmen & Gurdal, Mehmet Y. & Orman, Cuneyt, 2013. "Religion, income inequality, and the size of the government," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 225-234.
- Ceyhun Elgin & Turkmen Goksel & Mehmet Y. Gurdal, 2010. "Religion, Income Inequality, and the Size of the Government," Working Papers 2010/12, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
- Ceyhun Elgin & Turkmen Goksel & Mehmet Y. Gurdal & Cuneyt Orman, 2012. "Religion, Income Inequality, and the Size of the Government," Working Papers 1208, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
- H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2010-10-23 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2010-10-23 (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.:
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998.
"The Quality of Government,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- W. G. Gale & J. K. Scholz, .
"Intergenerational transfers and the accumulation of wealth,"
Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers
1019-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 145-160, Fall.
- William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1991. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 624, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Donald Cox & Fredric Raines, 1985. "Interfamily Transfers and Income Redistribution," NBER Chapters, in: Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being, pages 393-426 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999.
"Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?,"
NBER Working Papers
6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Robert Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2003. "International Determinants of Religiosity," NBER Working Papers 10147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeremy Philip Thornton & Sara Helms, 2013. "Afterlife incentives in charitable giving," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(19), pages 2779-2791, July.
- Evelyn Lehrer & Carmel Chiswick, 1993. "Religion as a determinant of marital stability," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 385-404, August.
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- Daniel Lederman & Norman V. Loayza & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005.
"Accountability And Corruption: Political Institutions Matter,"
Economics and Politics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 1-35, 03.
- Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman & Reis Soares, Rodrigo, 2001. "Accountability and corruption : political institutions matter," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2708, The World Bank.
- Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
- Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2005.
"Deliver us from evil: religion as insurance,"
PSE Working Papers
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005.
"Why is Fiscal Policy often Procyclical?,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1556, CESifo Group Munich.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," NBER Working Papers 11600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is fiscal policy often procyclical?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2090, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is fiscal policy often procyclical?," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000465, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why Is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Working Papers 297, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Lehrer, Evelyn L, 1996.
"Religion as a Determinant of Marital Fertility,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 173-96, May.
- Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
- Schneider, Friedrich G., 2007. "Shadow Economies and Corruption All Over the World: New Estimates for 145 Countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 1(9), pages 1-66.
- Arthur C. Brooks, 2005. "Does Social Capital Make You Generous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(1), pages 1-15.
- Kessler, Denis & Masson, Andre, 1989. "Bequest and Wealth Accumulation: Are Some Pieces of the Puzzle Missing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 141-52, Summer.
- repec:pse:psecon:2005-43 is not listed on IDEAS
- Scheve, Kenneth & Stasavage, David, 2006. "Religion and Preferences for Social Insurance," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 255-286, July.
- Cagri S. Kumru & Saran Sarntisart, 2013. "Implications of Alternative Banking Systems," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2013-601, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.