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“Striving for Savings” – religion and individual economic behavior


  • Anja Klaubert

    () (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)


In the Neoclassical growth model the saving ratio and human capital might be seen as the most important factors fostering economic growth. At last since Weber [2005 (1904/05)] it seems clear, that religious beliefs and involvement shapes both social and economic human behavior. This paper tests the hypothesis whether religious belonging and believing influence a household’s economic decision-making in the USA, which was found to foster economic growth, namely the saving ratio at the individual level. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), we find religious effects on saving. Regarding the decision to save money no large differences within the Christian religions, namely Protestants and Catholics, were found. However, large differences exist compared to non-religious people as well as to Non-Christians and Jews.

Suggested Citation

  • Anja Klaubert, 2010. "“Striving for Savings” – religion and individual economic behavior," Working Paper Series in Economics 162, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:162

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M. & Maki, Dean M., 2001. "Education and saving:: The long-term effects of high school financial curriculum mandates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 435-465, June.
    2. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2003. "The Correlation of Wealth across Generations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1155-1182, December.
    3. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
    5. Rosen, H.S.Harvey S. & Wu, Stephen, 2004. "Portfolio choice and health status," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 457-484, June.
    6. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    7. Renneboog, L.D.R. & Spaenjers, C., 2009. "Where Angels Fear to Trade : The Role of Religion in Household Finance," Discussion Paper 2009-34, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Savings and religion
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-03-10 23:53:00
    2. Religion and Savings
      by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-03-11 01:30:00

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    growth; religion; individual saving behavior;

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