IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/10147.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

International Determinants of Religiosity

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Barro
  • Rachel M. McCleary

Abstract

Two important theories of religiosity are the secularization hypothesis and the religion-market model. According to the former theory, economic development reduces religious participation and beliefs. According to the latter theory, religiosity depends on the presence of a state religion, regulation of the religion market, suppression of organized religion under Communism, and the degree of religious pluralism. We assess the theories by using survey information for 61 countries over the last 20 years on church attendance and religious beliefs. In accordance with the secularization view, overall economic development represented by per capita GDP tends to reduce religiosity. Moreover, instrumental estimates suggest that this link reflects causation from economic development to religiosity, rather than the reverse. The presence of an official state religion tends to increase religiosity, probably because of the subsidies that flow to organized religion. However, in accordance with the religion-market model, religiosity falls with government regulation of the religion market, Communist suppression, and a reduction in religious pluralism. Although religiosity declines overall with economic development, the nature of the interaction varies with the dimension of development. For example, religiosity is positively related to education and the presence of children and negatively related to urbanization.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2003. "International Determinants of Religiosity," NBER Working Papers 10147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10147
    Note: EFG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10147.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. & Robert F. Hebert & Robert D. Tollison, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of the Protestant Reformation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 646-671, June.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2008. "Education and Religion," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 188-215.
    3. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    4. World Bank, 2002. "World Development Indicators 2002," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13921, July.
    5. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Esa Mangeloja, 2004. "Interrelationship of economic growth and regional religious properties," ERSA conference papers ersa04p94, European Regional Science Association.
    2. S. Brammer & Geoffrey Williams & John Zinkin, 2007. "Religion and Attitudes to Corporate Social Responsibility in a Large Cross-Country Sample," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 71(3), pages 229-243, March.
    3. Silveus, Neil & Stoddard, Christiana, 2020. "Identifying the causal effect of income on religiosity using the Earned Income Tax Credit," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 903-924.
    4. van Dalen, Hendrik P., 2008. "Designing Global Collective Action in Population and HIV/AIDS Programs, 1983-2002: Has Anything Changed?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 362-382, March.
    5. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
    6. Esa Mangeloja, 2004. "Economic Growth and Religious Production Efficiency," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_040, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    7. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Sander, William, 2010. "Religious Participation versus Shopping: What Makes People Happier?," IZA Discussion Papers 5198, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Elgin, Ceyhun & Goksel, Turkmen & Gurdal, Mehmet Y. & Orman, Cuneyt, 2013. "Religion, income inequality, and the size of the government," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 225-234.
    9. Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2005. "How Robust Are the Linkages Between Religiosity and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0510, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    10. Fabio Zagonari, 2011. "Which Ethics Will Make us Individually and Socially Happier? A Cross-Culture and Cross-Development Analytical Model," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 77-103, March.
    11. Balart, Pau & Oosterveen, Matthijs & Webbink, Dinand, 2018. "Test scores, noncognitive skills and economic growth," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 134-153.
    12. MICHAEL McBRIDE, 2010. "Religious Market Competition in a Richer World," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 148-171, January.
    13. Michael McBride, 2005. "Why Hasn’t Economic Growth Killed Religion?," Working Papers 050602, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    14. Esa Mangeloja, 2005. "Economic growth and religious production efficiency," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(20), pages 2349-2359.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. L. Bettendorf & E. Dijkgraaf, 2008. "Religion and Income," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-014/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Tekleselassie, Tsegay Gebrekidan, 2016. "Three essays on the impact of institutions and policies on socio-economic outcomes," Economics PhD Theses 1316, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    4. Bettendorf, L. & Dijkgraaf, E., 2010. "Religion and income: Heterogeneity between countries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 12-29, May.
    5. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
    6. Robert J. Barro & Jason Hwang, 2007. "Religious Conversion in 40 Countries," NBER Working Papers 13689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Granger, Maury D. & Price, Gregory N., 2007. "The tree of science and original sin: Do christian religious beliefs constrain the supply of scientists?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 144-160, February.
    8. Sebastian Sterl, 2018. "Determinanten zur Einkommensentwicklung in Deutschland: Ein Vergleich von Personen mit und ohne Migrationshintergrund auf Basis des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels (SOEP)," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 992, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Benito Arruñada, 2010. "Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 890-918, September.
    10. Michael McBride, 2005. "Why Hasn’t Economic Growth Killed Religion?," Working Papers 050602, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    11. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Marcus Noland, 2003. "Religion, Culture, and Economic Performance," Working Paper Series WP03-8, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    13. Iyigun, Murat, 2006. "Ottoman Conquests and European Ecclesiastical Pluralism," IZA Discussion Papers 1973, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Giavazzi, Francesco & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Serafinelli, Michel, 2009. "Culture, Policies and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 4558, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    16. M. Leroch & C. Reggiani & G. Rossini & E. Zucchelli, 2012. "Religious attitudes and home bias: theory and evidence from a pilot study," Working Papers wp811, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    17. 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.
    18. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2002. "From Farmers to Merchants: A Human Capital Interpretation of Jewish Economic History," IZA Discussion Papers 670, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Philipp Ager & Antonio Ciccone, 2018. "Agricultural Risk and the Spread of Religious Communities," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 1021-1068.
    20. Chyi, Yih-Luan & Hwang, Chun-Sin, 2011. "Development of domestic markets and poverty reduction for poor developing economies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 374-381, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10147. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.