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The Determinants of Church Attendance and Religious Human Capital in Germany: Evidence from Panel Data

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  • Guido Heineck

Abstract

This paper explores determinants of church attendance and the formation of 'religious human capital' in Germany within a Becker-style allocation-of-time framework. The analysis is based on data derived from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). Taking advantage of the longitudinal structure of the data, we are able to control for unobservable heterogeneity by applying a random-effects ordered probit model to estimate separate attendance equations as well as 'faith intensity' equations for males and females. The results suggest support for previous findings based on British and North American data that age is a strong predictor for church attendance. Economic variables only weakly account for some of the variation inasmuch as high non-labour income releases time that can be devoted to religious activities. Results for differences in partnership status point to the complementary character of religious experience, whereas the findings for spouses with different religions are more ambiguous. Having at hand a presumably unique situation in the regional structure of religious traditions, we find, not too surprisingly, that strength of belief is much lower in the formerly atheistic East Germany. It is however not clear-cut that North-South or Protestant-Catholic divides exist in religious participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Heineck, 2001. "The Determinants of Church Attendance and Religious Human Capital in Germany: Evidence from Panel Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 263, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp263
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.38523.de/dp263.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Adrian Chadi & Matthias Krapf, 2017. "The Protestant Fiscal Ethic: Religious Confession And Euro Skepticism In Germany," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1813-1832, October.
    2. Heineck, Guido, 2004. "Does religion influence the labor supply of married women in Germany?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 307-328, July.
    3. Men-Andri Benz & Egon Franck & Urs Meister, 2005. "Strategic Choice of Celibacy in the Catholic Church," Working Papers 0042, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    4. Men-Andri Benz & Reto Foellmi & Egon Franck & Urs Meister, 2009. "Should the Catholic Church abolish the rule of Celibacy?," Working Papers 0115, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    5. Arano, Kathleen G. & Blair, Benjamin F., 2008. "Modeling religious behavior and economic outcome: Is the relationship bicausal?: Evidence from a survey of Mississippi households," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 2043-2053, October.
    6. Per-Ola Maneschiöld & Bengt Haraldsson, 2007. "Religious Norms and Labour Supply of Married Women in Sweden," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 41-56, Spring.
    7. Esa Mangeloja, 2003. "Application of Economic Concepts on Religious Behavior," Others 0310003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2004:i:1:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Religious behaviour; allocation of time; random-effects ordered probit model;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • J29 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Other
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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