Religion and education: Evidence from the National Child Development Study
In this paper, we explore the determinants of one aspect of religious behaviour – church attendance – at the individual level using British data derived from the National Child Development Study (NCDS). To be specific, we focus on the relationship between education and church attendance, which has attracted some attention in the existing literature. In contrast to the previous literature in this area, our data allows us to explore the dynamic dimension to religious activity since the NCDS provides information on church attendance at three stages of an individual’s life cycle. The findings from our cross-section and panel data analysis, which treats education as an endogenous variable, support a positive association between education and church attendance. In addition, our findings suggest that current participation in religious activities is positively associated with past religious activities. Furthermore, our findings suggest that levels of religious activity tend to vary less over time suggesting that factors such as habit formation may be important.
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