Religion Still Matters
Research by Lipford, McCormick, and Tollison and by Hull and Bold shows a negative relationship between church membership and crime rates. The results are important but do not employ the most recent available data. This paper reproduces Hull and Bold's results using more contemporary 1990 data by United States county. This paper also compares 1980 and 1990 county data. Results are consistent with the earlier research. County crime rates are significantly negatively related to county church membership share. Other factors affecting county crime rates include unemployment, poverty, expenditures on police, population density, and income.
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