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Religious heterogeneity and municipal spending in the United States

Jannett Highfill and Kevin O’Brien

Review of Social Economy, 2019, vol. 77, issue 4, 555-570

Abstract: The goal of this paper is to examine the effect of religious heterogeneity on various important metro-area variables such as total expenditure, taxes, property taxes, debt, and employment as well as spending on the specific services of education, roads, police, health, and welfare. Two indices are used to measure religious heterogeneity, a fractionalization index and a polarization index. Polarization, designed to be a measure of social conflict, generally led to less spending and taxes, while fractionalization, the probability that two randomly chosen individuals belong to different religious groups, generally led to more spending and taxes.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2018.1480797

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Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:77:y:2019:i:4:p:555-570