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Religious Diversity and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: So Far So Good

  • Kodila-Tedika, Oasis
  • Agbor, Julius

This paper investigates the effects of religion on a broad set of development outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. We regroup these outcomes into three broad categories, namely, development process outcomes (growth, investment, conflict, and government quality), institutional outcomes (property rights and the rule of law) and social development outcomes (social and gender protection). Using two new measures of religion – religious fractionalization (RELFRAC) and religious polarization (RELPOL), alongside the traditional measure of religious diversity, our results suggest that broadly speaking, religion or religious diversity has no statistically significant impact on the institutional and social aspects of development in sub-Saharan Africa. However, our findings do suggest that religion has important effects on the development process through its effects on investment. The analysis suggests that African policy-makers need to pay attention to the changing religious dynamics and increasing religious polarization of African societies.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 46305.

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Date of creation: 17 Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46305
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  1. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2004. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," NBER Working Papers 10438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2003. "Religious polarization and economic development," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 201-210, August.
  6. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
  7. Oasis Kodila-Tedika, 2012. "Determinants of Peace: A Cross-Country Analysis," Economic Research Guardian, Weissberg Publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 180-200, December.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2008. "Education and Religion," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 188-215.
  9. Joshua J. Lewer & Hendrik Van den Berg, 2007. "Estimating the Institutional and Network Effects of Religious Cultures on International Trade," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 255-277, 05.
  10. Timur Kuran, 1997. "Islam and Underdevelopment: An Old Puzzle Revisited," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(1), pages 41-, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2012. "Determinants of Peace : A Cross-Country Analysis," MPRA Paper 40812, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Ulrich Blum & Leonard Dudley, 2001. "Religion and economic growth: was Weber right?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 207-230, February.
  15. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
  16. BLUM, Ulrich & DUDLEY, Leonard, 2001. "Religion and Economic Growth: Was Weber Right?," Cahiers de recherche 2001-05, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  17. Ross Levine, 2005. "Law, Endowments, and Property Rights," NBER Working Papers 11502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Graziella Bertocchi & Andrea Guerzoni, 2012. "Growth, history, or institutions," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(6), pages 769-783, November.
  19. Matthias Helble, 2007. "Is God Good for Trade?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 385-413, 08.
  20. Grier, Robin, 1997. "The Effect of Religion on Economic Development: A Cross National Study of Sixty-three Former Colonies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 47-62.
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