IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does Religion Distribution Matter in the Economic Growth of Latin America?


  • Jaime Ortiz

    (Division of International Programs and A. R. Sanchez Jr. School of Business, Texas A&M International University, U.S.A.)


This research empirically analyzes the relationship between religion distribution and economic performance for a number of Latin American countries. The econometric results using time-series cross-sectional data yield consistent yet relatively mild estimates. Religion as a conduit for modifying values, behaviors, and outcomes does influence aggregate rates of per-capita economic growth and total factor productivity ratios in the region. However, once broken down by religious beliefs, the Catholic religion plays by far the largest role, rendering other well-known religious affiliations less important.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaime Ortiz, 2009. "Does Religion Distribution Matter in the Economic Growth of Latin America?," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 8(3), pages 183-199, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijb:journl:v:8:y:2009:i:3:p:183-199

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2008. "Education and Religion," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 188-215.
    2. Stulz, Rene M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2003. "Culture, openness, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 313-349, December.
    3. Pablo Branas-Garza & Máximo Rossi & Dayna Zaclicever, 2009. "Individual's Religiosity Enhances Trust: Latin American Evidence for the Puzzle," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 555-566, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Torgler, Benno, 2006. "The importance of faith: Tax morale and religiosity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 81-109, September.
    6. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    7. Paul Fudulu, 2008. "The Economic Performance of Great Religions," Papers on Economics of Religion 08/05, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    8. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & García-Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana, 2008. "The Big Carrot: High Stake Incentives Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 3287, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
    10. Fred Glahe & Frank Vorhies, 1989. "Religion, liberty and economic development: An empirical investigation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 201-215, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    religion; religious affiliations; growth; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ijb:journl:v:8:y:2009:i:3:p:183-199. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Yi-Ju Su). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.