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Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law?

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  • Niclas Berggren

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) and University of Economics in Prague)

  • Christian Bjørnskov

    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Abstract

Social and cultural determinants of economic institutions and outcomes have come to the forefront of economic research. We introduce religiosity, measured as the share for which religion is important in daily life, to explain institutional quality in the form of property rights and the rule of law. Previous studies have only measured the impact of membership shares of different religions, with mixed results. We find, in a cross-country regression analysis comprising up to 112 countries, that religiosity is negatively related to our institutional outcome variables. This only holds in democracies (not autocracies), which suggests that religiosity affects the way institutions work through the political process. Individual religions are not related to our measure of institutional quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Niclas Berggren & Christian Bjørnskov, 2012. "Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law?," Economics Working Papers 2012-08, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2012-08
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Religion and the quality of public institutions
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-03-23 19:34:00
    2. Religion og udvikling
      by Christian Bjørnskov in Punditokraterne on 2013-11-08 15:47:08

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    9. 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.
    10. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Economic Freedom and Religion: An Empirical Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6017, CESifo.
    11. Moamen Gouda & Jerg Gutmann, 2021. "Islamic constitutions and religious minorities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 243-265, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Religion; religiosity; rule of law; property rights; institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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