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

Author

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

Abstract

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. Overall, their analysis generally meets the standard of statistical replicability, though not perfectly. On the other hand, we do not find that their results are robust to changes in their baseline statistical specification. When model averaging methods are employed to integrate information across alternative statistical specifications, little evidence survives that religious variables help to predict cross-country income differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2010. "Is God in the Details? A Reexamination of the Role of Religion in Economic Growth," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 11-2010, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:11-2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    3. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Garrat, A. & Lee, K. & Pesaran, M.H. & Shin, Y., 2000. "Forecast Uncertainties in Macroeconometric Modelling: An Application to the UK Economy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0004, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. William A. Brock & Steven N.Durlauf, 2000. "Growth Economics and Reality," NBER Working Papers 8041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    8. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
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    10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    11. 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.
    12. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
    13. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Religion; Model Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • C59 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Other
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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