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The religious transition. A long-run perspective

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Abstract

Religiosity is defined as the importance of religion in all aspects of life. The definition is operationalized into a robust measure by aggregating 14 items from the World Values Surveys. Religiosity falls by 50 % when countries pass through the transition from being underdeveloped to becoming a developed one. A formal test shows that long-run causality is predominantly from income to religiosity. The transition slope is robust to measurement error and composition of the country sample. The empirical macro relation is rationalized by some micro theory: Most components of the demand for religious goods are reduced by rising income. Churches supply religious goods directly and through three additional channels: education, healthcare, and social security. Rising income caused churches to lose control over the additional channels. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2013. "The religious transition. A long-run perspective," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 105-123, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:156:y:2013:i:1:p:105-123
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-012-9934-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gundlach, Erich & Paldam, Martin, 2009. "The transition of corruption: From poverty to honesty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 146-148, June.
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    7. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2008. "Two Views on Institutions and Development: The Grand Transition vs the Primacy of Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 65-100, February.
    8. Masters, William A & McMillan, Margaret S, 2001. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 167-186, September.
    9. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
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    11. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Klaus Prettner & Holger Strulik, 2017. "It's a Sin—Contraceptive Use, Religious Beliefs, and Long-run Economic Development," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 543-566, August.
    2. Moamen Gouda & Sang-Min Park, 2014. "Religious Loyalty and Acceptance of Corruption," Working Papers 855, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2014.
    3. Gouda Moamen & Park Sang-Min, 2015. "Religious Loyalty and Acceptance of Corruption," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(2), pages 184-206, April.
    4. Holger Strulik, 2016. "Secularization And Long-Run Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 177-200, January.
    5. Opfinger, Matthias & Gundlach, Erich, 2011. "Religiosity as a determinant of happiness," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 48360, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Kenneth Harttgen & Matthias Opfinger, 2014. "National Identity and Religious Diversity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 346-367, August.
    7. Erich Gundlach & Matthias Opfinger, 2013. "Special Issue. Guest Editor: Zhihao Yu," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 523-539, August.
    8. repec:kap:pubcho:v:172:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0455-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Erich Gundlach & Martin Paldam, 2016. "Socioeconomic transitions as common dynamic processes," Economics Working Papers 2016-06, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    10. repec:kap:jecgro:v:22:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9142-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Religiosity; Economic development; Transition; Substitution; Biogeography; O11; Z12;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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