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Is God in the Details? A Reexamination of the Role of Religion in Economic Growth

  • Steven N. Durlauf
  • Andros Kourtellos
  • Chih Ming Tan

Barro and McCleary (2003) is a key research contribution in the new literature exploring the macroeconomic effects of religious beliefs. This paper represents an effort to evaluate the strength of their claims. We evaluate their results in terms of replicability and robustness. While we find that their analysis meets the standard of statistical replicability, we do not find that the results are robust to changes in their baseline statistical specification. Taken together, we conclude that their analysis cannot be taken to provide useable evidence on how religion might affect aggregate outcomes.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0613.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0613
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  1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Kenneth D. West, 2003. "Policy Evaluation in Uncertain Economic Environments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 235-322.
  3. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "The conquest of US inflation: Learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 528-563, April.
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  8. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2000. "Forecast Uncertainties in Macroeconometric Modelling: An Application to the UK Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 345, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Glaeser, Edward L. & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Scholarly Articles 27867242, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Hjort N.L. & Claeskens G., 2003. "Frequentist Model Average Estimators," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 98, pages 879-899, January.
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  16. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," Working Papers 15, Center for Global Development.
  17. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  18. Marcus Noland, 2003. "Religion, Culture, and Economic Performance," Working Paper Series WP03-8, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  19. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
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  21. repec:rus:hseeco:70719 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
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  25. Bruce E. Hansen, 2007. "Least Squares Model Averaging," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1175-1189, 07.
  26. Winford H. Masanjala & Chris Papageorgiou, 2008. "Rough and lonely road to prosperity: a reexamination of the sources of growth in Africa using Bayesian model averaging," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 671-682.
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