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A monetary valuation of individual religious behaviour: the case of prayer

  • Timothy Tyler Brown
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    The majority of the US population is religious. The value of a fundamental religious behaviour, prayer, is determined using the well-being valuation method. Theoretically appropriate Instrumental Variables (IV) are used to avoid bias in estimating the effects of household income and the frequency of prayer on well-being. The marginal value of an additional weekly prayer session for individuals already at the national mean is estimated to be $6550 per annum (2004 dollars). Praying at the frequency of the national mean of 8.1 prayer sessions weekly is valued at $53 055 (2004 dollars) per annum. This is larger than the median household income in the US in 2004: $44 684. This suggests that the perception of communion with God is highly valued by religious individuals.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 15 (May)
    Pages: 2031-2037

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:15:p:2031-2037
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