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Analyzing Religiosity Within an Economic Framework: The Case of Spanish Catholics

  • Garza, Pablo Brañas

    (University of Jaén)

  • Neuman, Shoshana


    (Bar-Ilan University)

Using a sample of Spanish Catholics, we examined the level of religiosity (measured by beliefs, prayer and church attendance) and the relationship between religiosity and various socio-economic variables. An Ordered Logit estimation of religiosity equations showed that: women are more religious than men; religious activity increases with age; there is a (marginally) significant positive relationship between schooling and religiosity; religiosity is positively related to exposure to religious activity during childhood; and male religious activity is positively affected by marital status (being married to a catholic wife) and by the number of children at home. The results also demonstrate the importance of the “salvation motive” for the two genders and the presence of the “professional utilitarian motive” in male religious behaviour.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 868.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2004, 2, 5-22
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp868
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  1. Sullivan, Dennis H, 1985. "Simultaneous Determination of Church Contributions and Church Attendance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(2), pages 309-20, April.
  2. Bruce Sacerdote & Edward L. Glaeser, 2001. "Education and Religion," NBER Working Papers 8080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," NBER Working Papers 8931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ekelund, Robert B. & Hebert, Robert F. & Tollison, Robert D. & Anderson, Gary M. & Davidson, Audrey B., 1997. "Sacred Trust: The Medieval Church as an Economic Firm," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103373.
  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. Olds, Kelly, 1994. "Privatizing the Church: Disestablishment in Connecticut and Massachusetts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 277-97, April.
  7. Lehrer, Evelyn L, 1996. "Religion as a Determinant of Marital Fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 173-96, May.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 409-13, April.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  12. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1977. "Household Allocation of Time and Religiosity: Replication and Extension," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 415-23, April.
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