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Let us pray: religious interactions in life satisfaction

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  • Andrew E. Clark

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Orsolya Lelkes

    (European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research - European Centre)

Abstract

We use recent pooled survey data on 90 000 individuals in 26 European countries to examine religious spillover effects on life satisfaction. Own religious behaviour is positively correlated with individual life satisfaction. More unusually, average religiosity in the region also has a positive impact: people are more satisfied in more religious regions. This spillover holds both for those who are religious and for those who are not. The flipside of the coin is that a greater proportion of "atheists" (those who say they do not currently belong to any religious denomination) has negative spillover effects, for the religious and atheists alike. We last show that both Protestants and Catholics like to live in regions where their own religion is dominant, while Protestants are also more satisfied when Catholics dominate. The generic positive spillover effect of others' religion is not explained by social capital, crime, or trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2009. "Let us pray: religious interactions in life satisfaction," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566120, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00566120
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00566120
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
    2. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    3. Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2005. "Deliver us from evil: religion as insurance," Working Papers halshs-00590570, HAL.
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    9. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
    10. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
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    13. Rainer Winkelmann, 2005. "Subjective well-being and the family: Results from an ordered probit model with multiple random effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 749-761, October.
    14. Clark, Andrew E. & Etilé, Fabrice, 2011. "Happy house: Spousal weight and individual well-being," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1124-1136.
    15. 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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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Some benefits of religion
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-02-10 19:54:16

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    Cited by:

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    2. Bernard M.S. Van Praag & Dmitri Romanov & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. van Praag, 2010. "Happiness and Financial Satisfaction in Israel. Effects of Religiosity, Ethnicity, and War," CESifo Working Paper Series 3181, CESifo.
    3. John F. Helliwell & Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh & Anthony Harris & Haifang Huang, 2009. "International Evidence on the Social Context of Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 14720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Andrew E. Clark, 2013. "Social comparisons, health and well-being," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-00879776, HAL.
    5. Andrew E. Clark, 2008. "Happiness, habits and high rank: Comparisons in economic and social life," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586049, HAL.
    6. Popova, Olga, 2014. "Can religion insure against aggregate shocks to happiness? The case of transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 804-818.
    7. Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2005. "Deliver us from evil: religion as insurance," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590570, HAL.
    8. Lubian, Diego & Zarri, Luca, 2011. "Happiness and tax morale: An empirical analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 223-243.
    9. Liesbeth Snoep, 2008. "Religiousness and happiness in three nations: a research note," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 207-211, June.
    10. Lehmann, Hartmut & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2011. "The impact of Chernobyl on health and labour market performance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 843-857.
    11. Headey, Bruce & Schupp, Jürgen & Tucci, Ingrid & Wagner, Gert G., 2008. "Authentic Happiness Theory Supported by Impact of Religion on Life Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Analysis with Data for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3915, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Rafael Domínguez & Borja López-Noval, 0. "Religiosity and Life Satisfaction Across Countries: New Insights from the Self-Determination Theory," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-24.
    13. Rafael Domínguez & Borja López-Noval, 2021. "Religiosity and Life Satisfaction Across Countries: New Insights from the Self-Determination Theory," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 1165-1188, March.
    14. Edward N Muller & Joe A Stone, 2013. "Incentives in Judeo-Christian beliefs: an economist's guide to heaven," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(2), pages 1300-1310.
    15. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
    16. Graafland, J.J. & Compen, B., 2012. "Economic Freedom and Life Satisfaction : A Cross Country Analysis," Discussion Paper 2012-038, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Van Praag, Bernard M.S. & Romanov, Dmitri & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2010. "Happiness and financial satisfaction in Israel: Effects of religiosity, ethnicity, and war," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1008-1020, December.
    18. Opfinger, Matthias & Gundlach, Erich, 2011. "Religiosity as a determinant of happiness," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 48360, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    19. Maite Blázquez Cuesta & Santiago Budría, 2014. "Deprivation and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Panel Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 655-682, December.
    20. Olga Popova, 2016. "Suffer for the Faith? Parental Religiosity and Children’s Health," Working Papers 356, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    21. Ahmed M Abdel-Khalek & Adel Shokry Korayem & David Lester, 2021. "Religiosity as a predictor of mental health in Egyptian teenagers in preparatory and secondary school," International Journal of Social Psychiatry, , vol. 67(3), pages 260-268, May.
    22. Gerd Grözinger & Wenzel Matiaske, 2014. "The Direct and Indirect Impact of Religion on Well-Being in Germany," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 373-387, April.

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