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Religiosity as a determinant of happiness

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  • Opfinger, Matthias
  • Gundlach, Erich

Abstract

We find a U-shaped relation between happiness and religiosity in cross-country panel data after controlling for income levels. At a given level of income, the same level of happiness can be reached with high and low levels of religiosity, but not with intermediate levels. A rise in income causes an increase in happiness along with a decline of religiosity. Our interpretation of the empirical results is that the indifference curves for religiosity and other commodities of the utility function are hump-shaped. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in its series Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy with number 48360.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:48360

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Keywords: Happiness; religiosity; utility function; long-run development;

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References

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  1. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Indicators 2010," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4373, July.
  2. Lim, Chaeyoon & Putnam, Robert David, 2010. "Religion, Social Networks, and Life Satisfaction," Scholarly Articles 11105537, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," IZA Discussion Papers 3654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Erich Gundlach & Martin Paldam, 2010. "The Religious Transition. A Long-run Perspective," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_039, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  6. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
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  8. BLUM, Ulrich & DUDLEY, Leonard, 2001. "Religion and Economic Growth: Was Weber Right?," Cahiers de recherche 2001-05, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
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  13. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Becker, Sascha O. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2007. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," Discussion Papers in Economics 1366, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  16. Opfinger, Matthias, 2011. "Religious Market Theory vs. Secularization: The Role of Religious Diversity Revisited," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-475, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  17. Liesbeth Snoep, 2008. "Religiousness and happiness in three nations: a research note," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 207-211, June.
  18. Orsolya Lelkes, 2002. "Tasting Freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," CASE Papers case59, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  19. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Kenneth Harttgen & Matthias Opfinger, 2012. "National Identity and Religious Diversity," Research Papers in Economics 2012-07, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  2. Matthias Opfinger, 2014. "‘United in Diversity’---Does Social Diversity Increase Subjective?," Research Papers in Economics 2014-10, University of Trier, Department of Economics.

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