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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. 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.
  2. Erich Gundlach & Martin Paldam, 2010. "The Religious Transition. A Long-run Perspective," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_039, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  3. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Indicators 2010," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4373, August.
  4. Ulrich Blum & Leonard Dudley, 2001. "Religion and economic growth: was Weber right?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 207-230, February.
  5. Hayo, Bernd, 2007. "Happiness in transition: An empirical study on Eastern Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 204-221, June.
  6. Daniel W. Sacks & Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 3206, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  8. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," NBER Working Papers 14282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596, May.
  10. Lim, Chaeyoon & Putnam, Robert David, 2010. "Religion, Social Networks, and Life Satisfaction," Scholarly Articles 11105537, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  11. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1995. "Risk, Rationality, and Religious Portfolios," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 285-95, April.
  12. Liesbeth Snoep, 2008. "Religiousness and happiness in three nations: a research note," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 207-211, June.
  13. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  14. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  15. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gallup_world_poll_jep_spring2008 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 173-194, February.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. James Peacock & Margaret Poloma, 1999. "Religiosity and Life Satisfaction Across the Life Course," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 319-343, November.
  21. 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.
  22. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Harttgen, Kenneth & Opfinger, Matthias, 2013. "National Identity and Religious Diversity," MPRA Paper 50151, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  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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