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Stop suffering! Economic downturns and pentecostal upsurge

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  • Costa, Francisco Junqueira Moreira da
  • Marcantonio Junior, Angelo
  • Castro, Rudi Rocha de

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of economic downturns on religious conversion. We exploit the Brazilian trade liberalization to study the effects of local economic shocks on affiliation to Pentecostal Evangelicalism across Brazilian regions between 1991 and 2010. We find that regions more exposed to trade-induced economic downturns experienced an increase in Pentecostal affiliation during the 1990s, accompanied by a decrease in adherents to other Christian denominations. Our estimates show that this conversion persisted over the following decade. We also show that economic downturns are associated with the growth in the vote share of candidates explicitly connected to Pentecostal churches in national elections in both the short and long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa, Francisco Junqueira Moreira da & Marcantonio Junior, Angelo & Castro, Rudi Rocha de, 2018. "Stop suffering! Economic downturns and pentecostal upsurge," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 804, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:804
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    2. Oeindrila Dube & Joshua E. Blumenstock & Michael Callen & Michael J. Callen, 2022. "Measuring Religion from Behavior: Climate Shocks and Religious Adherence in Afghanistan," CESifo Working Paper Series 10114, CESifo.
    3. Ogeda, Pedro & Ornelas, Emanuel & Soares, Rodrigo, 2021. "Labor Unions and the Electoral Consequences of Trade Liberalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 16721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Raphael Corbi & Fabio Miessi Sanches, 2022. "Church Competition, Religious Subsidies and the Rise of Evangelicalism: a Dynamic Structural Analysis," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2022_09, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    5. Laura Barros & Manuel Santos Silva, 2019. "#EleNão: Economic crisis, the political gender gap, and the election of Bolsonaro," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 242, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

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