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Individual’s religiosity enhances trust: Latin American evidence for the puzzle

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Author Info

  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    ()
    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Máximo Rossi

    ()
    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

  • Dayna Zaclicever

    ()
    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

Abstract

This paper explores the effect of religious observance and affiliation to the dominant religion (Catholicism) on trust in institutions, towards others and market attitudes. The analysis is performed using a Latin American database of twenty thousand respondents from 2004 by means of ordered probit models. The most interesting results are: i) Trust toward others is positively correlated with religious observance and with Catholic affiliation. ii) There is a positive correlation between trust in the government, in the police, in the armed forces, in the judiciary and in the banking system and religious practice in general. Identical positive results are obtained for Catholic affiliation. iii) Correlations with attitudes toward the market, in general, are heterogeneous but never negative. In sum, individual’s level of religiosity crucially affects trust in institutions and toward peers. We also found that Catholicism encourages both trust in institutions and towards others. Thus, we found a positive effect of “religiosity” on social capital. In fact, we never found any negative (and significant) effect on the variables considered.

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File URL: http://decon.edu.uy/publica/2006/0506.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics - dECON in its series Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) with number 0506.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:0506

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Keywords: trust in institutions; economic behavior; religious practise; Catholics.;

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2008. "Education and Religion," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 188-215.
  2. 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.
  3. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Productivity Commission, 2003. "Social capital: reviewing the concept and its policy implications," Public Economics 0307001, EconWPA.
  6. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," CEPR Discussion Papers 3588, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," NBER Working Papers 8931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  9. 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).
  10. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Espín, Antonio M. & Neuman, Shoshana, 2013. "Effects of religiosity on social behaviour: Experimental evidence from a representative sample of Spaniards," CEPR Discussion Papers 9709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Is the importance of religion in daily life related to social trust? Cross-country and cross-state comparisons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 459-480.
  3. Searing, Elizabeth A.M., 2013. "Love thy neighbor? Recessions and interpersonal trust in Latin America," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 68-79.
  4. Jaime Ortiz, 2009. "Does Religion Distribution Matter in the Economic Growth of Latin America?," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business, and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 8(3), pages 183-199, December.

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