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Individual s religiosity enhances trust: Latin American evidence for the puzzle

  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    ()

    (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada)

  • Maximo Rossi

    ()

    (Universidad de la Rep blica, Uruguay)

  • Dyane Zaclicever

    (Universidad de la Rep blica, Uruguay)

This paper explores the effect of religious observance and affiliation to the dominant religion (Catholicism) on trust in institutions, towards others and market attitudes. The analysis is performed using a Latin American database of twenty thousand respondents from 2004 by means of ordered probit models. The most interesting results are: i) Trust toward others is positively correlated with religious observance and with Catholic affiliation. ii) There is a positive correlation between trust in the government, in the police, in the armed forces, in the judiciary and in the banking system and religious practice in general. Identical positive results are obtained for Catholic affiliation. iii) Correlations with attitudes toward the market, in general, are heterogeneous but never negative. In sum, individual s level of religiosity crucially affects trust in institutions and toward peers. We also found that Catholicism encourages both trust in institutions and towards others. Thus, we found a positive effect of religiosity on social capital. In fact, we never found any negative (and significant) effect on the variables considered.

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File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/paoner/per06_05.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada. in its series Papers on Economics of Religion with number 06/05.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 05 May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gra:paoner:06/05
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  1. Productivity Commission, 2003. "Social capital: reviewing the concept and its policy implications," Public Economics 0307001, EconWPA.
  2. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  3. Bruce Sacerdote & Edward L. Glaeser, 2001. "Education and Religion," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1913, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Neuman, Shoshana, 2006. "Intergenerational Transmission of 'Religious Capital': Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 2183, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
  6. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
  7. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  8. Pablo BraÒas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2004. "Analyzing Religiosity within an Economic Framework: The Case of Spanish Catholics," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 5-22, 03.
  9. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
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