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Why Do European Governments Favor Religion?

Author

Listed:
  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

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

  • Angel Solano

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

Abstract

This paper explores a highly controversial issue: while most European countries are undergoing a clear and well-documented process of secularization, the governments of these countries widely support religious institutions. The arguments put forward by the median voter seem insufficient to explain the data. We show that if political parties are allowed to take an ideological position with respect to religion, the observed deviations from the most preferred policy by the median voter could be explained. The assumptions of our model are tested using European data. We observe that citizens are concerned about secularization, but that there are differences between religious and non-religious citizens as we assume. In addition, and in consonance with our assumptions, the percentage of religious-averse inhabitants is very small.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Brañas-Garza & Angel Solano, 2007. "Why Do European Governments Favor Religion?," Papers on Economics of Religion 07/01, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  • Handle: RePEc:gra:paoner:07/01
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    File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/paoner/per07_01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2008. "Education and Religion," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 188-215.
    3. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aurelian-Petruş PLOPEANU, 2011. "Religion, Freedoms And Wealth," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 7, pages 108-115, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    religiosity; favoritism; voting; political economics.;

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H59 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Other

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