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Why Do European Governments Favor Religion?

  • 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)

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.

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File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/paoner/per07_01.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 07/01.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 19 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gra:paoner:07/01
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  1. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  2. Bruce Sacerdote & Edward L. Glaeser, 2001. "Education and Religion," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1913, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," Scholarly Articles 3710663, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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