People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes
Since Max Weber, there has been an active debate on the impact of religion on people’s economic attitudes. Much of the existing evidence, however, is based on cross-country studies in which this impact is confounded by differences in other institutional factors. We use the World Values Surveys to identify the relationship between intensity of religious beliefs and economic attitudes, controlling for country fixed effects. We study several economic attitudes toward cooperation, the government, working women, legal rules, thriftiness, and the market economy. We also distinguish across religious denominations, differentiating on whether a religion is dominant in a country. We find that on average, religious beliefs are associated with ‘good’ economic attitudes, where ‘good’ is defined as conducive to higher per capita income and growth. Yet religious people tend to be more racist and less favorable with respect to working women. These effects differ across religious denominations. Overall, we find that Christian religions are more positively associated with attitudes conducive to economic growth.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Levin, Jeffrey S., 1994. "Religion and health: Is there an association, is it valid, and is it causal?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1475-1482, June.
- Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2002.
"Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel,"
NBER Working Papers
8931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001.
"Culture, Openness, and Finance,"
NBER Working Papers
8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
- Robert J. Barro, 1991.
"Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
- Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- BLUM, Ulrich & DUDLEY, Leonard, 2001.
"Religion and Economic Growth: Was Weber Right?,"
Cahiers de recherche
2001-05, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998.
"The Quality of Government,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1995. "Taxation and redistribution in an open economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 961-979, May.
- Easton, Stephen T & Walker, Michael A, 1997. "Income, Growth, and Economic Freedom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 328-32, May.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1985. "Who Escapes? The Relation of Church-Going & Other Background Factors to the Socio-Economic Performance of Blk. Male Yths. from Inner-City Pvrty Tracts," NBER Working Papers 1656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levin, Jeffrey S. & Vanderpool, Harold Y., 1987. "Is frequent religious attendance really conducive to better health?: Toward an epidemiology of religion," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 589-600, January.
- Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
- Grier, Robin, 1997. "The Effect of Religion on Economic Development: A Cross National Study of Sixty-three Former Colonies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 47-62.
- Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
- Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
- La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997.
"Trust in Large Organizations,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
- Leonard Dudley & Ulrich Blum, 2001. "Religion and economic growth: was Weber right?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 207-230.
- Barry R. Chiswick, 1983. "The Earnings and Human Capital of American Jews," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 313-336.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3588. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.