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Economic Freedom and Religion

Author

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  • Arye L. Hillman
  • Niklas Potrafke

Abstract

There has been much study of the consequences of economic freedom but, outside of the role of political institutions, there has been little study of the determinants of economic freedom. We investigate whether religion affects economic freedom. Our cross-sectional data set includes 137 countries averaged over the period 2001–2010. Simple correlations show that Protestantism is associated with economic freedom, Islam is not, with Catholicism in between. The Protestant ethic requires economic freedom. Our empirical estimates, which include religiosity, political institutions, and other explanatory variables, confirm that Protestantism is most conducive to economic freedom.

Suggested Citation

  • Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2018. "Economic Freedom and Religion," Public Finance Review, , vol. 46(2), pages 249-275, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:46:y:2018:i:2:p:249-275
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    1. Robert A. Lawson & Ryan Murphy & Benjamin Powell, 2020. "The Determinants Of Economic Freedom: A Survey," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(4), pages 622-642, October.
    2. Nunziata, Luca & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2018. "The Protestant ethic and entrepreneurship: Evidence from religious minorities in the former Holy Roman Empire," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 27-43.

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