Does Religion Affect Economic Growth and Happiness? Evidence from Ramadan
We study the economic effects of religious practices in the context of the observance of Ramadan fasting, one of the central tenets of Islam. To establish causality, we exploit variation in the length of the fasting period due to the rotating Islamic calendar. We report two key, quantitatively meaningful results: 1) longer Ramadan fasting has a negative effect on output growth in Muslim countries, and 2) it increases subjective well-being among Muslims. We then examine labor market outcomes, and find that these results cannot be primarily explained by a direct reduction in labor productivity due to fasting. Instead, the evidence indicates that Ramadan affects Muslims' relative preferences regarding work and religiosity, suggesting that the mechanism operates at least partly by changing beliefs and values that influence labor supply and occupational choices beyond the month of Ramadan itself. Together, our results indicate that religious practices can affect labor supply choices in ways that have negative implications for economic performance, but that nevertheless increase subjective well-being among followers.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Filipe Campante & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2015. "Does Religion Affect Economic Growth and Happiness? Evidence from Ramadan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 615-658.|
|Note:||DEV EFG POL|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2011. "Health Capital and the Prenatal Environment: The Effect of Ramadan Observance during Pregnancy," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 56-85, October.
- Clingingsmith, David & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Kremer, Michael R., 2009.
"Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering,"
3659699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- David Clingingsmith & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Michael Kremer, 2009. "Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1133-1170, August.
- Clingingsmith, David & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering," Working Paper Series rwp08-022, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Baele, Lieven & Farooq, Moazzam & Ongena, Steven, 2011.
"Of Religion and Redemption: Evidence from Default on Islamic Loans,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
8504, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Baele, Lieven & Farooq, Moazzam & Ongena, Steven, 2014. "Of religion and redemption: Evidence from default on Islamic loans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 141-159.
- Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
- Jean-Paul Carvalho, 2010. "Coordination and Culture," Economics Series Working Papers 489, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- van Ewijk, Reyn, 2011.
"Long-term health effects on the next generation of Ramadan fasting during pregnancy,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1246-1260.
- Reyn van Ewijk, 2009. "Long-Term Health Effects on the Next Generation of Ramadan Fasting During Pregnancy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0926, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Reyn van Ewijk, 2009. "Long-term health effects on the next generation of Ramadan fasting during pregnancy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28597, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Timur Kuran, 2004. "Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 71-90, Summer.
- Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2006.
"Is God in the Details? A Reexamination of the Role of Religion in Economic Growth,"
Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University
0613, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2012. "Is God in the details? A reexamination of the role of religion in economic growth," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1059-1075, November.
- Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2010. "Is God in the Details? A Reexamination of the Role of Religion in Economic Growth," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 11-2010, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
- Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2009.
"Is the Importance of Religion in Daily Life Related to Social Trust? Cross-Country and Cross-State Comparisons,"
Ratio Working Papers
142, The Ratio Institute.
- Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Is the importance of religion in daily life related to social trust? Cross-country and cross-state comparisons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 459-480.
- Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2002.
"People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3588, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel Timmer, 2013. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," NBER Working Papers 19255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2010.
"The Protestant Ethic and Work: Micro Evidence from Contemporary Germany,"
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research
330, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2010. "The Protestant Ethic and Work: Micro Evidence from Contemporary Germany," MPRA Paper 26444, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- David B. Audretsch & Werner Boente & Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada, 2007.
"Religion and Entrepreneurship,"
Jena Economic Research Papers
2007-075, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2012. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2083-2110, August.
- Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Convergence and Modernization Revisited," NBER Working Papers 18295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19768. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.