Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel

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Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel

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Title: Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel
Author: McCleary, Rachel; Barro, Robert

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Barro, Robert J. and Rachel M. McCleary. 2002. Religion and political economy in an international panel. NBER Working Paper 8931.
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Abstract: Economic and political developments affect religiosity, and the extent of religious participation and beliefs influence economic performance and political institutions. We study these two directions of causation in a broad cross-country panel that includes survey information over the last 20 years on church attendance and an array of religious beliefs. Although religiosity declines overall with economic development, the nature of the response varies with the dimension of development. Church attendance and religious beliefs are positively related to education (thereby conflicting with theories in which religion reflects non-scientific thinking) and negatively related to urbanization. Attendance also declines with higher life expectancy and lower fertility. We investigate the effects of official state religions, government regulation of the religion market, Communism, religious pluralism, and the denominational composition of religious adherence. On the other side, we find that economic growth responds positively
to the extent of some religious beliefs but negatively to church attendance. That is, growth depends on the extent of believing relative to belonging. These results hold up when we use as instrumental variables the measures of official state religion, government regulation, and religious pluralism.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3386/w8931
Other Sources: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/barro/files/religion%20paper%20ajs%20revised.pdf
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118580383/abstract
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3221170
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