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Rhetoric or reality? An economic analysis of the effects of religion in Sweden

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  • Berggren, Niclas

Abstract

The present paper begins by outlining a theoretical, rational- choice approach to understanding how religious beliefs and affiliations might influence the behavior of individuals. This influence arises from an expectation that the god in question punishes certain forms of action and from social reprimands of devotees. In particular, four specific types of behavior are investigated: the divorce, abortion, non-payment, and children- born-out-of-wedlock rates. It is demonstrated why it is to be expected that Christian religious involvement discourages all of these activities. Regression analysis is then used to test the theory in the case of Sweden in the year 1990, and the importance of religion is strongly confirmed for all four types of behavior.
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  • Berggren, Niclas, 1997. "Rhetoric or reality? An economic analysis of the effects of religion in Sweden," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 571-596.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:26:y:1997:i:6:p:571-596
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    1. Gary M. Anderson and Robert U. Tollison, 1992. "Morality and Monopoly: The Constitutional Political Economy of Religious Rules," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 12(2), pages 373-392, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. C. Simon Fan & Hon-Kwong Lui, 2004. "Extramarital Affairs, Marital Satisfaction, and Divorce: Evidence from Hong Kong," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(4), pages 442-452, October.
    2. Eiji Yamamura, 2016. "Smokers’ Preference for Divorce and Extramarital Sex," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 59(2), pages 44-76.
    3. Guido Heineck, 2001. "The Determinants of Church Attendance and Religious Human Capital in Germany: Evidence from Panel Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 263, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Granger, Maury D. & Price, Gregory N., 2007. "The tree of science and original sin: Do christian religious beliefs constrain the supply of scientists?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 144-160, February.
    7. Rupasingha, Anil & Chilton, John b., 2009. "Religious adherence and county economic growth in the US," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 438-450, October.
    8. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Is the importance of religion in daily life related to social trust? Cross-country and cross-state comparisons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 459-480.
    9. Berggren, Niclas & Ljunge, Martin, 2017. "Does Religion Make You Sick? Evidence of a Negative Relationship between Religious Background and Health," Working Paper Series 1173, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    10. Heineck, Guido, 2004. "Does religion influence the labor supply of married women in Germany?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 307-328, July.
    11. Sri Ranjith & Anil Rupasingha, 2012. "Social and Cultural Determinants of Child Poverty in the United States," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 119-142.
    12. J. G. Sri Ranjith, 2015. "The Effect of Microenterprises on Poverty: A Cross-county Analysis on US Urban Poverty," International Journal of Economics and Empirical Research (IJEER), The Economics and Social Development Organization (TESDO), vol. 3(3), pages 128-150, March.
    13. Todd D. Kendall & Robert Tamura, 2010. "Unmarried Fertility, Crime, and Social Stigma," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 185-221, February.
    14. Per-Ola Maneschiöld & Bengt Haraldsson, 2007. "Religious Norms and Labour Supply of Married Women in Sweden," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 41-56, Spring.
    15. Hollander, Gideon & Kahana, Nava & Lecker, Tikva, 2003. "Religious and secular human capital: an economic model," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 489-498, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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