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Religion and Innovation

Author

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  • Roland Bénabou
  • Davide Ticchi
  • Andrea Vindigni

Abstract

In earlier work we identified a robust negative association between religiosity and patents per capita, holding across countries as well as US states. In this paper we relate 11 indicators of individual openness to innovation (e.g., attitudes toward science and technology, new versus old ideas, change, risk taking, agency, imagination, and independence in children) to 5 measures of religiosity, including beliefs and attendance. We use five waves of the World Values Survey and control for sociodemographics, country and year fixed effects. Across the 52 regressions, greater religiosity is almost uniformly associated to less favorable views of innovation, with high significance.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Bénabou & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2015. "Religion and Innovation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 346-351, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:5:p:346-51
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
    2. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    3. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 699-746.
    4. Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2012. "Religious Beliefs, Religious Participation, and Cooperation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 121-151, August.
    5. Stephan Bartke & Reimund Schwarze, 2008. "Risk-Averse by Nation or by Religion?: Some Insights on the Determinants of Individual Risk Attitudes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 131, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Identity, Morals, and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 805-855.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Docquier, Frédéric & Tansel, Aysit & Turati, Riccardo, 2017. "Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA countries," MPRA Paper 82778, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Brigitte Granville & Jaume Martorell Cruz & Martha Prevezer, 2015. "Elites, Thickets and Institutions: French Resistance versus German Adaptation to Economic Change, 1945-2015," Working Papers 63, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    3. Serafinelli, Michel & Tabellini, Guido, 2017. "Creativity over Time and Space," CEPR Discussion Papers 12365, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Herzer, Dierk & Strulik, Holger, 2016. "Religiosity and long-run productivity growth," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 284, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    5. Furukawa, Yuichi & Lai, Tat-kei & Sato, Kenji, 2017. "Receptivity and Innovation," MPRA Paper 81536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Strulik, Holger, 2016. "An economic theory of religious belief," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 35-46.
    7. Maleke Fourati & Gabriele Gratton & Pauline Grosjean, 2016. "Render Unto Caesar: Taxes, Charity, and Political Islam," Discussion Papers 2016-08, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    8. Docquier, Frédéric & Tansel, Aysit & Turati, Riccardo, 2017. "Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA countries," MPRA Paper 82778, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Brigitte Granville & Jaume Martorell Cruz, 2016. "Squared Segmentation: How the Insider/Outsider divide across Public/Private Employment shapes attitudes towards markets," Working Papers 78, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:282-300 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. William F. Maloney & Felipe Valencia Caicedo, 2017. "Engineering Growth: Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas," CESifo Working Paper Series 6339, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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