IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sej/ancoec/v711y2004p103-117.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Religious Freedom and the Unintended Consequences of State Religion

Author

Listed:
  • Charles M. North

    () (Department of Economics, Baylor University, P.O. Box 98003, Waco, TX 76798-8003, USA)

  • Carl R. Gwin

    () (Department of Economics, Baylor University, P.O. Box 98003, Waco, TX 76798-8003, USA)

Abstract

We use a cross-section of 59 countries to examine the impact of state religion and of constitutional protection of religion on the degree of religiosity within a country. Our measure of religiosity is the percentage of the population who attend religious services at least once a week. We find that both establishment of a state religion and constitutional protection of religion have significant (and opposing) effects. The existence of a state religion reduces attendance by 14.6–16.7% of the total population, whereas each decade of constitutional protection increases attendance by approximately 1.2% of the population. We also find that other measures of religious regulation have significant negative effects on attendance. Ironically, the motive behind establishment of a particular state religion usually is to strengthen that religion, but the effects are ultimately to undermine the vitality of the established religion.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles M. North & Carl R. Gwin, 2004. "Religious Freedom and the Unintended Consequences of State Religion," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 103-117, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:71:1:y:2004:p:103-117
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Sriya Iyer, 2016. "The New Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 395-441, June.
    2. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Is the importance of religion in daily life related to social trust? Cross-country and cross-state comparisons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 459-480.
    3. Pena López, J.A. & Sanchez Santos, J.M., 2005. "Mercados de creencias versus hipótesis de la secularización: aspectos positivos y normativos/Markets of beliefs vs. scularization hupothecis: positive and normative aspects," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 23, pages 837-861, Diciembre.
    4. Oliveira, Livio Luiz Soares de & Neto, Giácomo Balbinotto, 2013. "A teoria do mercado religioso : evidências empíricas da literatura
      [The theory of religious market : empirical evidence from the literature]
      ," MPRA Paper 51716, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:sej:ancoec:v:71:1:y:2004:p:103-117. 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: (Laura Razzolini). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/seaaaea.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.