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The religious transition - A long-run perspective

Erich Gundlach () and Martin Paldam

Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University

Abstract: We use factor analysis to derive a robust measure of religiosity from items reported in five waves of the World Value Survey. Our measure of religiosity is negatively correlated with per capita income. Development apparently causes religiosity to fall to about half its pre-modern level. Most components of the demand for religion are reduced by development. The supply of religion declines once churches lose control over the institutions providing collective goods like education, health, and social security. These goods used to be supplied by churches jointly with religious services but tend to be supplied by the state with rising levels of develop¬ment. Aspects of supply and demand are integrated in a CES production function framework that can explain the direction of causality in the observed negative correlation between income and religiosity.

Keywords: Levels of development; religiosity; biogeography (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O11 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-12-04
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Related works:
Journal Article: The religious transition. A long-run perspective (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Religious Transition. A Long-run Perspective (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: The religious transition: a long-run perspective (2009) Downloads
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