IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Does Religion Really Reduce Crime?

  • Heaton, Paul

Considerable research in sociology, criminology, and economics aims to understand the effect of religiosity on crime. Many sociological theories positing a deterrent effect of religion on crime are empirically examined using ordinary least squares (OLS) cross-sectional regressions of crime measures on measures of religiosity. Most previous studies have found a negative effect of religion on crime using OLS, a result I am able to replicate using county-level data on religious membership and crime rates. If crime affects religious participation, however, OLS coefficients in this context suffer from endogeneity bias. Using historic religiosity as an instrument for current religious participation, I find a negligible effect of religion on crime and a negative effect of crime on religion. To further explore the relationship between religion and crime, I examine variation in crime incidence before and after Easter. Consistent with the instrumental variables results, I find no evidence of a decrease in crime following Easter.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" 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.

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 49 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 147-72

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2006:v:49:i:1:p:147-72
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2006:v:49:i:1:p:147-72. 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: (Journals Division)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.