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Why Do European Governments Favor Religion?

Pablo Brañas-Garza () and Angel Solano-Garcia ()

No 07/01, Papers on Economics of Religion from Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada.

Abstract: This paper explores a highly controversial issue: while most European countries are undergoing a clear and well-documented process of secularization, the governments of these countries widely support religious institutions. The arguments put forward by the median voter seem insufficient to explain the data. We show that if political parties are allowed to take an ideological position with respect to religion, the observed deviations from the most preferred policy by the median voter could be explained. The assumptions of our model are tested using European data. We observe that citizens are concerned about secularization, but that there are differences between religious and non-religious citizens as we assume. In addition, and in consonance with our assumptions, the percentage of religious-averse inhabitants is very small.

Keywords: religiosity; favoritism; voting; political economics. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z12 D72 H59 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-eec, nep-pbe and nep-pol
Date: 2007-01-19
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