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In God We Learn? The Universal Messages of Religions, their Context-Specific Effects, and the role of Minority Status

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  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon
  • Ilan Tojerow

Abstract

We test whether major religious denominations have a uniform impact on education across the world. Using individual data from the World Values Survey for 77 countries, we find that no denomination consistently influences education and, in fact, for each denomination we study there are countries where its impact is significantly positive, significantly negative, or statistically insignificant. To explain this unexpected result, we relate our first finding to minority status and find that denominations that are a minority in a country have a positive effect on the level of education of their followers in that country. Both findings uphold a series of robustness checks, including changing the definition of minority religions, excluding outliers, and changing the measure of education.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ilan Tojerow, 2018. "In God We Learn? The Universal Messages of Religions, their Context-Specific Effects, and the role of Minority Status," Working Papers CEB 16-036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/276508
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    Keywords

    religion; education; minority;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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