Implications of the Economics of Religion to the Empirical Economic Research
This paper collects most recent developments in the emerging economic sub-area Economics of Religion. According to secularization thesis, the importance of beliefs and religious activities should weaken as education, scientific knowledge and economic welfare increases. That hypothesis has been previously proofed false, but it continues to affect people's attitudes. This survey analyzes the economic consequences of religion, the two-way interrelationship between religious and economic activities and the present state of economic scrutiny on the subject, exploring the emerging sub-field of economics, which appends our notion of factors behind the economic behavior and growth, by including religious activity as an important factor in economic development. Changes in belief systems, which in many cases will be forms of religion, also can significantly influence individual behavior along with the maximization of individual profit and utility. The finding that economic growth depends also on the productivity of the religious sector, offers interesting future research opportunities.
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