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Estimating the Institutional and Network Effects of Religious Cultures on International Trade


  • Joshua J. Lewer
  • Hendrik Van den Berg


As a social institution, religion directly influences economic behavior, including trade. Religious culture also impacts trade indirectly because it is part of a society's overall culture, which in turn influences many other formal and informal institutions that also directly influence economic activity. Finally, religious cultures support trade networks. Applying panel data for 84 countries for the years 1995-2000 to an augmented gravity model that distinguishes between the direct institutional, indirect institutional, and network effects of religious cultures, we find that only three of the world's eight major religious cultures directly stimulate international trade. However, the majority of the religious cultures seem to indirectly increase trade through their influence on societies' other institutions, and six of the eight major religions have network effects that increase trade. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua J. Lewer & Hendrik Van den Berg, 2007. "Estimating the Institutional and Network Effects of Religious Cultures on International Trade," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 255-277, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:60:y:2007:i:2:p:255-277

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    2. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Richard B. Freeman & Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis: Summary of Findings," NBER Chapters,in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 3-20 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Freeman, Richard B. & Holzer, Harry J. (ed.), 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226261645.
    5. Richard B. Freeman & Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free86-1, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Julius Agbor Agbor, 2014. "Religious Diversity and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: So Far So Good," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 99-117.
    2. Martin Leroch & Carlo Reggiani & Gianpaolo Rossini & Eugenio Zucchelli, 2012. "Religious attitudes and home bias: theory and evidence from a pilot study," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1206, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. Johan Fourie & Jaume Rosselló & Maria Santana-Gallego, 2015. "Religion, Religious Diversity and Tourism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 51-64, February.
    4. Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2010. "Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion in Public Goods and Trust Games -super-," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 163-175, May.
    5. Bala Ramasamy & Matthew C.H. Yeung, 2012. "Ethical distance and difference in Bilateral trade," Working Papers 11012, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
    6. Melitz, Jacques & Toubal, Farid, 2014. "Native language, spoken language, translation and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 351-363.
    7. Jelena Trivic & Łukasz Klimczak, 2015. "The determinants of intra-regional trade in the Western Balkans," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 37-66.
    8. Nicolas Sauter, 2012. "Talking trade: language barriers in intra-Canadian commerce," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 301-323, February.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Katharina Linsbauer & Friedrich Heinemann, 2015. "Religion and the Shadow Economy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 111-141, February.
    10. repec:edn:sirdps:417 is not listed on IDEAS

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