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Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law?

  • Niclas Berggren

    ()

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

  • Christian Bjørnskov

    ()

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

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.

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Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2012-08.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 06 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2012-08
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

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  1. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion in Public Goods and Trust Games," Working Papers 20, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
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  3. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2009. "Is the Importance of Religion in Daily Life Related to Social Trust? Cross-Country and Cross-State Comparisons," Ratio Working Papers 142, The Ratio Institute.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611, May.
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  35. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2008. "The growth-inequality association: Government ideology matters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 300-308, October.
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