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Religiosity as a determinant of happiness

  • Gundlach, Erich
  • Opfinger, Matthias

We find a U-shaped relation between happiness and religiosity in cross-country panel data after controlling for income levels. At a given level of income, the same level of happiness can be reached with high and low levels of religiosity, but not with intermediate levels. A rise in income causes an increase in happiness along with a decline of religiosity. Our interpretation of the empirical results is that the indifference curves for religiosity and other commodities of the utility function are hump-shaped.

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Paper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) with number dp-467.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-467
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  7. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," NBER Working Papers 14282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Indicators 2010," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4373.
  9. Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2009. "Let us pray: religious interactions in life satisfaction," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566120, HAL.
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  14. Hayo, Bernd, 2007. "Happiness in transition: An empirical study on Eastern Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 204-221, June.
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  18. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
  19. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 173-194, February.
  20. Opfinger, Matthias, 2011. "Religious Market Theory vs. Secularization: The Role of Religious Diversity Revisited," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-475, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  21. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
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