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Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?

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  • BERGGREN, NICLAS
  • BJØRNSKOV, CHRISTIAN

Abstract

Social and cultural determinants of economic institutions and outcomes have come to the forefront of economic research. We introduce religiosity, measured as the share for which religion is important in daily life, to explain institutional quality in the form of property rights and the rule of law. Previous studies have only measured the impact of membership shares of different religions, with mixed results. We find, in a cross-country regression analysis comprising up to 112 countries, that religiosity is negatively related to our institutional outcome variables. This only holds in democracies (not autocracies), which suggests that religiosity affects the way institutions work through the political process. Individual religions are not related to our measure of institutional quality.
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Suggested Citation

  • Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 161-185, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:9:y:2013:i:02:p:161-185_00
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    1. repec:sae:pubfin:v:46:y:2018:i:2:p:249-275 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hans Pitlik & Ludek Kouba, 2013. "The interrelation of informal institutions and governance quality in shaping Welfare State attitudes," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 38, WWWforEurope.
    3. Krieger, Tim & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2016. "Political capitalism: The interaction between income inequality, economic freedom and democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 115-132.
    4. 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.
    5. Peter Huber & Thomas Leoni & Hans Pitlik, 2013. "Reforming Welfare States," WWWforEurope Deliverables series 1, WWWforEurope.
    6. Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Policies against human trafficking: the role of religion and political institutions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 353-386, November.
    7. Ludek Kouba & Hans Pitlik, 2014. "I wanna live my life: Locus of Control and Support for the Welfare State," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2014-46, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    8. Daniel B. Klein, 2014. "Does Economics Need an Infusion of Religious or Quasi-Religious Formulations? A Symposium Prologue," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 11(2), pages 97-105, May.
    9. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Economic Freedom and Religion: An Empirical Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6017, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2015. "The rule of law and constitutionalism in Muslim countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 351-380, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Garett Jones & Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "Human Capital and National Institutional Quality: Are TIMSS, PISA, and National Average IQ Robust Predictors?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4790, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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