EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Political leadership and the quality of public goods and services: Does religion matter?

Aloys L. Prinz () and Christian J. Sander
Additional contact information
Aloys L. Prinz: University of Münster
Christian J. Sander: University of Münster

Economics of Governance, 2020, vol. 21, issue 4, No 1, 299-334

Abstract: Abstract Despite some indications to the contrary, religion still plays an important role in contemporary society. In this paper, the association between religion and the quality of public goods and services, measured by the so-called “delivery quality” index of the Worldwide Governance Indicators project, is empirically investigated. Besides religion, different political regimes may also have a crucial impact on the quality of public goods and services. In the paper, a distinction is made between theocratic, autocratic and democratic systems. It is hypothesized that the delivery quality is lower in theocratic and autocratic regimes than in democracies. In addition, religious diversity may enhance the quality of public goods and services in otherwise autocratic and democratic regimes. The level of religious goods and services provision should be lower in religiously diverse societies, because the costs of these goods are higher due to a lack of economies of scale. This may leave more potential for the provision of high-quality public goods and services by the state. These hypotheses are tested empirically with data from 190 countries. The empirical estimates confirm that both theocratic and autocratic regimes provide lower average delivery quality than democracies. Furthermore, a positive association of religious leadership with delivery quality is found in strict autocracies. Greater religious diversity is thus linked to a better quality of pubic goods and services in democracies, but not in autocracies.

Keywords: Quality of public goods and services; Democracy; Autocracy; Religious leadership; Religious diversity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H11 H41 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10101-020-00242-7 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:21:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s10101-020-00242-7

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... cs/journal/10101/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s10101-020-00242-7

Access Statistics for this article

Economics of Governance is currently edited by Amihai Glazer and Marko Koethenbuerger

More articles in Economics of Governance from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

 
Page updated 2020-12-05
Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:21:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s10101-020-00242-7