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Religiosity and State Welfare

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  • Angela K. Dills
  • Rey Hernández-Julián

Abstract

The Catholic sex abuse scandals reduced both membership and religiosity in the Catholic Church. Because government spending on welfare may substitute for the religious provision of social services, we consider whether this plausibly exogenous decline in religiosity affected several measures of the public taste towards government spending on welfare between 1990 and 2008. In places where there were more scandals, individuals state a preference for less government provision of social services. In contrast, a higher level of abuse is also associated with an increase in voting for Democratic candidates for President and state legislatures, and an increase in per capita government welfare spending, although this increase is insufficient to replace the decrease in Catholic-provided charity.

Suggested Citation

  • Angela K. Dills & Rey Hernández-Julián, 2013. "Religiosity and State Welfare," NBER Working Papers 19169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19169
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    Cited by:

    1. Bottan, Nicolas L. & Perez-Truglia, Ricardo, 2015. "Losing my religion: The effects of religious scandals on religious participation and charitable giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 106-119.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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