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Is God in the details? A reexamination of the Role of Relegion in Economic

  • Steven N. Durlauf
  • Andros Kourtelos
  • 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 University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 10-2006.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:10-2006
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  1. Marcus Noland, 2003. "Religion, Culture, and Economic Performance," Working Paper Series WP03-8, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  4. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions As The Fundamental Cause Of Long-Run Growth," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002889, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2000. "Forecast Uncertainties in Macroeconometric Modelling: An Application to the UK Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 345, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. 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.
  14. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," CEPR Discussion Papers 3588, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2003. "Unbundling Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 0110002, EconWPA.
  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. Tiago Cavalcanti & Stephen Parente & Rui Zhao, 2007. "Religion in macroeconomics: a quantitative analysis of Weber’s thesis," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 105-123, July.
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