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The Religious Transition. A Long-run Perspective

  • Martin Paldam
  • Erich Gundlach

We use factor analysis to derive a robust measure of religiosity from items reported in five waves of the World Value Survey. Our measure of religiosity is negatively correlated with per capita income. Development apparently causes religiosity to fall to about half its pre-modern level. Most components of the demand for religion are reduced by development. The supply of religion declines once churches lose control over the institutions providing collective goods like education, health, and social security. These goods used to be supplied by churches jointly with religious services but tend to be supplied by the state with rising levels of development. Aspects of supply and demand are integrated in a CES production function framework that can explain the direction of causality in the observed negative correlation between income and religiosity

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1576.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1576
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  1. Erich Gundlach & Martin Paldam, 2008. "A Farewell to Critical Junctures: Sorting Out Long-run Causality of Income and Democracy," Kiel Working Papers 1410, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. William A Masters and Margaret S McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert B. Ekelund Jr. & Robert F. Hebert & Robert D. Tollison, 2008. "The Marketplace of Christianity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550717, June.
  4. Gundlach, Erich & Paldam, Martin, 2009. "The transition of corruption: From poverty to honesty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 146-148, June.
  5. 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.
  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. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
  8. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  9. Krueger, Anne O, 1996. " Political Economy of Agricultural Policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 163-75, April.
  10. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development," Working Papers in Economics 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 11 Aug 2000.
  11. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
  12. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2008. "Two Views on Institutions and Development: The Grand Transition vs the Primacy of Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 65-100, 02.
  13. Lipford, Jody & McCormick, Robert E. & Tollison, Robert D., 1993. "Preaching matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 235-250, August.
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