Religiosity: Identifying the Effect of Pluralism
One of the most controversial questions in the study of religion has been the effect of pluralism on religiosity. Whereas sociologists of religion have traditionally predicted a negative relationship between pluralism and religious vitality, advocates of a supply-side approach have recently challenged this view, arguing that religious pluralism has increased vitality. Despite a large number of empirical studies devoted to this question, the results have been mixed. We argue that the main reason for the inability of scholars to reach a consensus on this important question has been the failure to deal appropriately with the endogeneity problem arising from omitted variables affecting both pluralism and religiosity. To remedy this, we offer a systematic analysis of influences on religiosity, combining information from the World Values Survey (1981-2014) with controls on the geographic and historical characteristics of nations and annual data on macroeconomic variables, relationship between state and religion, and religious pluralism. To address endogeneity concerns regarding the relationship between pluralism and religiosity, we exploit the variation among nations in their geographic distance to religious “capitals” of the world as an instrument. The OLS results reveal a negative and highly significant effect of pluralism on religiosity, which persists as we variously control for other factors. However, the association largely disappears when we correct for the omitted variable bias through the 2SLS analysis. Specifically, the magnitude and statistical significance of the effect of pluralism both fall sharply. Our results cast doubt on the causal interpretations of the negative relationship between pluralism and religiosity found by some studies, while offering a way to reconcile the conflicting results found in the literature.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2017|
|Date of revision:||Jun 2017|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063|
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2017-01. 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: (Mark McConnel)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.