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Religion and Earnings: Is It Good to Be an Atheist with Religious Parental Background?

  • Thomas Cornelissen
  • Uwe Jirjahn

Using German employee data, we find that being raised by two religious parents and having no current religious affiliation is associated with higher earnings. This conforms to the hypothesis that people who are raised religiously and reject religion as adults are economically more successful as they combine a strong, internalized work ethic with an increased interest in present consumption (as opposed to afterlife consumption).

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File URL: http://www.uni-trier.de/fileadmin/fb4/prof/VWL/EWF/Research_Papers/2012-03.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Trier, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2012-03.

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Length: 10 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trr:wpaper:201203
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Web page: http://www.uni-trier.de/index.php?id=2118

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  1. Benito Arruñada, 2004. "Protestants and Catholics: Similar work ethic, different social ethic," Economics Working Papers 743, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2010.
  2. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 173-194, February.
  3. Thomas Cornelißen & Uwe Jirjahn, 2010. "September 11th and the Earnings of Muslims in Germany: The Moderating Role of Education and Firm Size," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 278, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
  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.
  7. Lipford, Jody W. & Tollison, Robert D., 2003. "Religious participation and income," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 249-260, June.
  8. Tomes, Nigel, 1985. "Religion and the Earnings Function," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 245-50, May.
  9. L. Bettendorf & E. Dijkgraaf, 2007. "Religion and income: heterogeneity between countries," Papers on Economics of Religion 07/04, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  10. Todd P. Steen, 2004. "The relationship between religion and earnings: recent evidence from the NLS Youth Cohort," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(5/6), pages 572-581, May.
  11. Nigel Tomes, 1984. "The Effects of Religion and Denomination on Earnings and the Returns to Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 472-488.
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