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Intergenerational Transmission of 'Religious Capital': Evidence from Spain

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  • Brañas-Garza, Pablo

    () (Middlesex University Business School, London)

  • Neuman, Shoshana

    () (Bar-Ilan University)

Abstract

The paper examines intergenerational transmission of 'religious capital' from parents to their offspring, within an economic framework of a production function of 'religiosity' where parental inputs serve as factors of production. A sample of Catholic Spaniards who grew up in Catholic households is used for the empirical study. A rich unique data base is employed with data on several aspects of religiosity: two dimensions of the individual's religiosity – mass attendance (6 levels) and prayer (11 levels); information on the mother's and father's church attendance when the respondent was a child (9 levels) as well as the respondent's mass participation at the age of 12. The use of detailed religiosity measures (rather than one dichotomous variable, e.g. goes to church-yes/no; practicing Catholic – yes/no), facilitates a more sophisticated analysis with robust conclusions. A theoretical framework is followed by stylized facts on household composition. Then the effect of the parents' input on respondent's religiosity is examined – first using cross-tabulation and then using Ordered Logit regression. The inputs of the parents are proxied by the mother's and father's intensity of church attendance when the respondent was a child. The output (respondent's religiosity) is measured using detailed data on mass attendance and prayer. Exposure to mass services during childhood and socio-economic variables are also considered. All in all we find that parental religious inputs significantly affect individuals' religiosity BUT the route of intergenerational transmission is from mother to daughter and from father to son. Women are not affected by paternal religiosity and men are unaffected by maternal religiosity. Current religiosity is also affected by own exposure to mass services during childhood – own experience has a more pronounced effect on the private/intimate activity of prayer than on the social/public activity of church attendance. Current mass participation is more affected by parental than by own mass attendance during childhood.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2183
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    2. 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, March.
    3. Evelyn Lehrer, 1996. "Religion as a determinant of marital fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 173-196, June.
    4. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    5. Grossbard-Shechtman, Amyra & Neuman, Shoshana, 1986. "Economic behavior, marriage and religiosity," Journal of Behavioral Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 71-85.
    6. 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.
    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. Long, Stephen H & Settle, Russell F, 1977. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 409-413, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ronen Bar-El & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Yossef Tobol, 2013. "The evolution of secularization: cultural transmission, religion and fertility—theory, simulations and evidence," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1129-1174, July.
    2. Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Giritligil, Ayca E., 2013. "Democratic Values Transmission," DFAEII Working Papers DFAEII;2013-02, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    3. Pablo Branas-Garza & Máximo Rossi & Dayna Zaclicever, 2009. "Individual's Religiosity Enhances Trust: Latin American Evidence for the Puzzle," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 555-566, March.
    4. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2007. "Parental religiosity and daughters’ fertility: the case of Catholics in southern Europe," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 305-327, September.
    5. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Neuman, Shoshana, 2006. "Is Fertility Related to Religiosity? Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 2192, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Social Networks and Parental Behavior in the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion," CEPR Discussion Papers 8443, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Sergej Flere, 2012. "Religious Capital and Religious Rewards: A Study in the Economics of Religious Life," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 59(1), pages 117-127, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational transmission; religious capital; prayer; church attendance; Catholic; production; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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