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Individual’s religiosity enhances trust: Latin American evidence for the puzzle

  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    ()

    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Máximo Rossi

    ()

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

  • Dayna Zaclicever

    ()

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

This paper explores the effect of religious observance and affiliation to the dominant religion (Catholicism) on trust in institutions, towards others and market attitudes. The analysis is performed using a Latin American database of twenty thousand respondents from 2004 by means of ordered probit models. The most interesting results are: i) Trust toward others is positively correlated with religious observance and with Catholic affiliation. ii) There is a positive correlation between trust in the government, in the police, in the armed forces, in the judiciary and in the banking system and religious practice in general. Identical positive results are obtained for Catholic affiliation. iii) Correlations with attitudes toward the market, in general, are heterogeneous but never negative. In sum, individual’s level of religiosity crucially affects trust in institutions and toward peers. We also found that Catholicism encourages both trust in institutions and towards others. Thus, we found a positive effect of “religiosity” on social capital. In fact, we never found any negative (and significant) effect on the variables considered.

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File URL: http://decon.edu.uy/publica/2006/0506.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics - dECON in its series Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) with number 0506.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:0506
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  1. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2006. "Intergenerational Transmission of 'Religious Capital': Evidence from Spain," Papers on Economics of Religion 06/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  2. Productivity Commission, 2003. "Social capital: reviewing the concept and its policy implications," Public Economics 0307001, EconWPA.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Trust in Large Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Garza, Pablo Brañas & Neuman, Shoshana, 2003. "Analyzing Religiosity Within an Economic Framework: The Case of Spanish Catholics," IZA Discussion Papers 868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2008. "Education and Religion," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 188-215.
  8. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
  9. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
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