IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sae/pubfin/v46y2018i2p249-275.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Economic Freedom and Religion

Author

Listed:
  • 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
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://pfr.sagepub.com/content/46/2/249.abstract
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adrian Chadi & Matthias Krapf, 2017. "The Protestant Fiscal Ethic: Religious Confession And Euro Skepticism In Germany," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1813-1832, October.
    2. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    3. Hans Pitlik, 2002. "The Path of Liberalization and Economic Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 57-80.
    4. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Democracy and countries with Muslim majorities: a reply and update," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 323-332, March.
    5. Gehring, Kai, 2013. "Who Benefits from Economic Freedom? Unraveling the Effect of Economic Freedom on Subjective Well-Being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 74-90.
    6. Hillman, Arye L. & Metsuyanim, Kfir & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Democracy with group identity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 274-287.
    7. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
    8. Berggren, Niclas & Bjã˜Rnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 161-185, June.
    9. Moamen Gouda, 2013. "Islamic constitutionalism and rule of law: a constitutional economics perspective," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 57-85, March.
    10. Potrafke, Niklas & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2012. "Globalization and gender equality in the course of development," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 399-413.
    11. Borooah, Vani K. & Paldam, Martin, 2007. "Why is the world short of democracy?: A cross-country analysis of barriers to representative government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 582-604, September.
    12. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2000. "On the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 215-241, June.
    13. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    14. Young, Andrew T. & Sheehan, Kathleen M., 2014. "Foreign aid, institutional quality, and growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 195-208.
    15. Christopher Kilby & Sally J. Scholz, 2011. "The Impact of Globalization on Women: Testing Vandana Shiva’s Critique of Development," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 15, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    16. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Economic Freedom and Government Ideology across the German States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 433-449, March.
    17. 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.
    18. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "A model of cultural transmission, voting and political ideology," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 5-29, March.
    19. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2012. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1339-1392.
    20. Sascha Becker & Ludger Woessmann & Sascha O. Becker, 2008. "Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia," CESifo Working Paper Series 2414, CESifo.
    21. Joshua C. Hall & Robert A. Lawson, 2014. "Economic Freedom Of The World: An Accounting Of The Literature," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 1-19, January.
    22. Pitlik, Hans, 2002. "The Path of Liberalization and Economic Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 57-79.
    23. James Buchanan, 2005. "Afraid to be free: Dependency as desideratum," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 19-31, July.
    24. Berggren, Niclas, 2003. "The Benefits of Economic Freedom: A Survey," Ratio Working Papers 4, The Ratio Institute.
    25. Rode, Martin & Gwartney, James D., 2012. "Does democratization facilitate economic liberalization?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 607-619.
    26. Niclas Berggren & Therese Nilsson, 2013. "Does Economic Freedom Foster Tolerance?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 177-207, May.
    27. Hans Pitlik, 2008. "The Impact of Growth Performance and Political Regime Type on Economic Policy Liberalization," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 258-278, May.
    28. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
    29. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    30. Raphael Becker & Arye Hillman & Niklas Potrafke & Alexander Schwemmer, 2015. "The preoccupation of the United Nations with Israel: Evidence and theory," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 413-437, December.
    31. 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.
    32. François Facchini, 2010. "Religion, law and development: Islam and Christianity--Why is it in Occident and not in the Orient that man invented the institutions of freedom?," Post-Print hal-00432954, HAL.
    33. Arusha Cooray & Stephan Klasen, 2014. "Maternal Mortality, Religion and the Enrolment of Girls and Boys: Is there a Link?," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 19714, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    34. Martin Rode & Sebastian Coll, 2012. "Economic freedom and growth. Which policies matter the most?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 95-133, June.
    35. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    36. Timur Kuran, 1997. "Islam and Underdevelopment: An Old Puzzle Revisited," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(1), pages 1-41, March.
    37. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: does party ideology matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 687-714, August.
    38. Gouda, Moamen & Potrafke, Niklas, 2016. "Gender equality in Muslim-majority countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 683-698.
    39. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Islam and democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 185-192, April.
    40. Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman (ed.), 2015. "Companion to the Political Economy of Rent Seeking," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15325.
    41. Adriaan Soetevent, 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context-a field experiment in thirty churches," Framed Field Experiments 00198, The Field Experiments Website.
    42. Martin Rode & Julio Revuelta, 2015. "The Wild Bunch! An empirical note on populism and economic institutions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 73-96, February.
    43. Young, Andrew T. & Lawson, Robert A., 2014. "Capitalism and labor shares: A cross-country panel study," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 20-36.
    44. Claudia Williamson & Rachel Mathers, 2011. "Economic freedom, culture, and growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 313-335, September.
    45. 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.
    46. Jac C. Heckelman & Bonnie Wilson, 2018. "Fractionalization and Economic Freedom," Public Finance Review, , vol. 46(2), pages 158-176, March.
    47. José Casas Pardo & Pedro Schwartz (ed.), 2007. "Public Choice and the Challenges of Democracy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12578.
    48. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    49. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in Nineteenth‐century Prussia," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 777-805, December.
    50. Lambarraa, Fatima & Riener, Gerhard, 2012. "On the norms of charitable giving in Islam: A field experiment," DICE Discussion Papers 59, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    51. Paldam, Martin, 2003. "Economic freedom and the success of the Asian tigers: an essay on controversy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 453-477, September.
    52. Charles Rowley & Nathanael Smith, 2009. "Islam’s democracy paradox: Muslims claim to like democracy, so why do they have so little?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 273-299, June.
    53. Cooray, Arusha & Potrafke, Niklas, 2011. "Gender inequality in education: Political institutions or culture and religion?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 268-280, June.
    54. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl, 2006. "Free to Trust: Economic Freedom and Social Capital," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 141-169, May.
    55. Joshua C. Hall, 2016. "Institutional convergence: exit or voice?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(4), pages 829-840, October.
    56. Timur Kuran, 2004. "Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 71-90, Summer.
    57. repec:ces:ifodic:v:11:y:2013:i:2:p:19094731 is not listed on IDEAS
    58. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political Ideology and Economic Freedom Across Canadian Provinces," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 143-166.
    59. Martin Rode, 2013. "Do Good Institutions Make Citizens Happy, or Do Happy Citizens Build Better Institutions?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(5), pages 1479-1505, October.
    60. Friedrich Schneider & Katharina Linsbauer & Friedrich Heinemann, 2015. "Religion and the Shadow Economy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 111-141, February.
    61. Hans Pitlik & Martin Rode, 2014. "Free to Choose? Economic Freedom, Relative Income, and Life Control Perceptions," WIFO Working Papers 482, WIFO.
    62. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
    63. Lauren R. Heller & Robert A. Lawson & Ryan H. Murphy & Claudia R. Williamson, 2018. "Is human trafficking the dark side of economic freedom?," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 355-382, June.
    64. Bodo Knoll & Hans Pitlik & Martin Rode, 2013. "Economic Freedom, Money and Happiness – Why Deregulation Matters Beyond its Wealth Enhancing Effect," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 35-42, 07.
    65. Seth W. Norton & Annette Tomal, 2009. "Religion and Female Educational Attainment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(5), pages 961-986, August.
    66. José Cheibub & Jennifer Gandhi & James Vreeland, 2010. "Democracy and dictatorship revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 67-101, April.
    67. Matthias Helble, 2007. "Is God Good for Trade?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 385-413, August.
    68. Berggren, Niclas & Nilsson, Therese, 2016. "Tolerance in the United States: Does economic freedom transform racial, religious, political and sexual attitudes?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 53-70.
    69. Compton, Ryan A. & Giedeman, Daniel C. & Hoover, Gary A., 2011. "Panel evidence on economic freedom and growth in the United States," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 423-435, September.
    70. Chong, Beng Soon & Liu, Ming-Hua, 2009. "Islamic banking: Interest-free or interest-based?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 125-144, January.
    71. Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2015. "The rule of law and constitutionalism in Muslim countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 351-380, March.
    72. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    73. Salahodjaev, Raufhon & Azam, Sardor, 2015. "Intelligence and gender (in)equality: empirical evidence from developing countries," MPRA Paper 66295, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Christian Bjørnskov & Stefan Voigt, 2021. "Is constitutionalized media freedom only window dressing? Evidence from terrorist attacks," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 187(3), pages 321-348, June.
    2. Emilia Justyna Powell & Steven Christian McDowell & Robert O’Brien & Julia Oksasoglu, 2021. "Islam-based legal language and state governance: democracy, strength of the judiciary and human rights," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 376-412, September.
    3. Moamen Gouda & Jerg Gutmann, 2021. "Islamic constitutions and religious minorities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 243-265, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Adam A. Millsap & Bradley K. Hobbs & Dean Stansel, 2019. "Local Governments and Economic Freedom: A Test of the Leviathan Hypothesis," Public Finance Review, , vol. 47(3), pages 493-529, May.
    6. Aloys L. Prinz & Christian J. Sander, 2020. "Political leadership and the quality of public goods and services: Does religion matter?," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 299-334, December.
    7. 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.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Economic Freedom and Religion: An Empirical Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6017, CESifo.
    2. 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.
    3. Gouda, Moamen & Potrafke, Niklas, 2016. "Gender equality in Muslim-majority countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 683-698.
    4. Hillman, Arye L. & Metsuyanim, Kfir & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Democracy with group identity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 274-287.
    5. Cooray, Arusha & Potrafke, Niklas, 2011. "Gender inequality in education: Political institutions or culture and religion?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 268-280, June.
    6. Hans Pitlik & Martin Rode, 2014. "Free to Choose? Economic Freedom, Relative Income, and Life Control Perceptions," WIFO Working Papers 482, WIFO.
    7. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ilan Tojerow, 2018. "In God We Learn? The Universal Messages of Religions, their Context-Specific Effects, and the role of Minority Status," Working Papers CEB 16-036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Tojerow, Ilan, 2019. "The minority ethic: Rethinking religious denominations, minority status, and educational achievement across the globe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 196-214.
    9. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Islam and democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 185-192, April.
    10. Moamen Gouda & Jerg Gutmann, 2021. "Islamic constitutions and religious minorities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 243-265, March.
    11. Marta Marson & Matteo Migheli & Donatella Saccone, 2021. "New evidence on the link between ethnic fractionalization and economic freedom," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 257-292, September.
    12. Rode, Martin & Gwartney, James D., 2012. "Does democratization facilitate economic liberalization?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 607-619.
    13. Berggren, Niclas & Bjã˜Rnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 161-185, June.
    14. Melike Kökkizil, 2022. "Parental Religiosity and Missing School-Girls in Turkey," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS91, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    15. Danko Tarabar & Andrew T. Young, 2017. "Liberalizing Reforms and the European Union: Accession, Membership, and Convergence," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 83(4), pages 932-951, April.
    16. Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2015. "The rule of law and constitutionalism in Muslim countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 351-380, March.
    17. Andreas Bergh & Christian Bjørnskov, 2021. "Does economic freedom boost growth for everyone?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(2), pages 170-186, May.
    18. Noury, Abdul G. & Speciale, Biagio, 2016. "Social constraints and women's education: Evidence from Afghanistan under radical religious rule," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 821-841.
    19. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2017. "Religion and work: Micro evidence from contemporary Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 193-214.
    20. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Democracy and countries with Muslim majorities: a reply and update," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 323-332, March.

    Corrections

    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:sae:pubfin:v:46:y:2018:i:2:p:249-275. 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: . 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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: SAGE Publications (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.