IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/uct/uconnp/2008-04.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

State and Religion

Author

Listed:
  • Metin Cosgel

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Thomas Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

State and religion have historically had an uneasy relationship, at times being close allies, at others harsh adversaries, and at still others largely independent. This paper develops an economic model of this relationship, where the state's objective is to maximize net tax revenue. Religious goods benefit the state in two ways: first, they provide utility to citizens, thus allowing the state to extract more taxes before running up against citizens' reservation utility (the point at which they would revolt), and second, they potentially provide legitimacy to the state, thereby lowering the costs of tax collection. If the latter effect is strong enough, the state may find it optimal to take control of religion, either to enhance its legitimizing effect, or to suppress its delegitimizing effect. Greater competition in the religion market and democratic polity make it less likely for the state to control religion. To evaluate the model's implications, we use recent cross-country data on the relationship between religion and state, including variables from the "Religion and State Project" and measures coded from the 2001, 2003, and 2005 International Religious Freedom reports. We also examine in more detail some of the paradigmatic cases indicated by the model, presenting various types of evidence from current and historical examples of each case.

Suggested Citation

  • Metin Cosgel & Thomas Miceli, 2008. "State and Religion," Working papers 2008-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-04
    Note: We acknowledge the comments of participants in the Economics Department Brownbag Seminar, February 7, 2008. We especially appreciate the comments of Dhammika Dharmapala, Dick Langlois, Lanse Minkler, Jared Rubin, and Christian Zimmermann. We also acknowledge the research assistance of Moussa Diop, Parag Waknis, and Michael Stone.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://media.economics.uconn.edu/working/2008-04r.pdf
    File Function: Full text (revised version)
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://media.economics.uconn.edu/working/2008-04.pdf
    File Function: Full text (original version)
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
    2. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922.
    3. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
    4. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    5. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Coşgel, Metin M. & Miceli, Thomas J. & Rubin, Jared, 2012. "The political economy of mass printing: Legitimacy and technological change in the Ottoman Empire," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 357-371.
    2. Georges El Haddad, 2019. "The Smithian Market of Religions and its Legacy: Another Great Schism between Economics and Sociology?," Working Papers of BETA 2019-11, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    3. Janine Höhener & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2012. "Religionsökonomie: eine Übersicht," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Coşgel, Metin & Histen, Matthew & Miceli, Thomas J. & Yıldırım, Sadullah, 2018. "State and religion over time," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 20-34.
    5. Cosgel, Metin & Miceli, Thomas & Ahmed, Rasha, 2009. "Law, state power, and taxation in Islamic history," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 704-717, September.
    6. Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2013. "Legal centralization and the birth of the secular state," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 959-978.
    7. Iyer, S., 2020. "Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2084, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Naghavi, Alireza & Pignataro, Giuseppe, 2015. "Theocracy and resilience against economic sanctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-12.
    9. Coşgel, Metin M. & Hwang, Jungbin & Miceli, Thomas J. & Yıldırım, Sadullah, 2019. "Religiosity: Identifying the effect of pluralism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 219-235.
    10. Adam, Antonis & Tsarsitalidou, Sofia, 2019. "Serving two masters: The effect of state religion on fiscal capacity," MPRA Paper 101857, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2018. "Economic Freedom and Religion," Public Finance Review, , vol. 46(2), pages 249-275, March.
    3. Berggren, Niclas & Bjã˜Rnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 161-185, June.
    4. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2017. "Religion and work: Micro evidence from contemporary Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 193-214.
    5. Kudo, Yuya, 2014. "Religion and polygamy : evidence from the livingstonia mission in Malawi," IDE Discussion Papers 477, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    6. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Julius Agbor Agbor, 2014. "Religious Diversity and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: So Far So Good," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association (AFEA), vol. 16(1), pages 99-117.
    7. Mariya Aleksynska & Barry Chiswick, 2013. "The determinants of religiosity among immigrants and the native born in Europe," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 563-598, December.
    8. Spenkuch, Jörg & Tillmann, Philipp, 2014. "Elite Influence? Religion, Economics, and the Rise of the Nazis," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100491, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Janine Höhener & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2012. "Religionsökonomie: eine Übersicht," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    10. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Economic Freedom and Religion: An Empirical Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6017, CESifo.
    11. Coccia, Mario, 2014. "Socio-cultural origins of the patterns of technological innovation: What is the likely interaction among religious culture, religious plurality and innovation? Towards a theory of socio-cultural drive," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 13-25.
    12. Liang, Yinhe & Dong, Zhiyong, 2019. "Has education led to secularization? Based on the study of compulsory education law in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 324-336.
    13. Wang, Jimin & Wang, Cong, 2021. "Can religions explain cross country differences in innovative activities?," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2013. "The religious transition. A long-run perspective," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 105-123, July.
    17. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2016. "Saints Marching In, 1590–2012," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(331), pages 385-415, July.
    18. M. Leroch & C. Reggiani & G. Rossini & E. Zucchelli, 2012. "Religious attitudes and home bias: theory and evidence from a pilot study," Working Papers wp811, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    19. Adrian Chadi & Matthias Krapf, 2017. "The Protestant Fiscal Ethic: Religious Confession And Euro Skepticism In Germany," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1813-1832, October.
    20. Davide Cantoni & Jeremiah Dittmar & Noam Yuchtman, 2018. "Religious Competition and Reallocation: the Political Economy of Secularization in the Protestant Reformation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(4), pages 2037-2096.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Church; state; religion; legitimacy; power;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-04. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deuctus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Mark McConnel (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deuctus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.