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The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence

Ronen Bar-El, Teresa M. García-Muñoz (), Shoshana Neuman () and Yossef Tobol
Additional contact information
Ronen Bar-El: The Open University
Shoshana Neuman: Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University
Yossef Tobol: Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University

No 2010-10, Working Papers from Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics

Abstract: This study presents an evolutionary process of secularization that integrates a theoretical model, simulations, and an empirical estimation that employs data from 32 countries (included in the International Social Survey Program: Religion II – ISSP, 1998). Following Bisin and Verdier (2000, 2001a), it is assumed that cultural/social norms are transmitted from one generation to the next one via two venues: (i) direct socialization – across generations, by parents; and (ii) oblique socialization – within generations, by the community and cultural environment. This paper focuses on the transmission of religious norms and in particular on the 'religious taste for children'. The theoretical framework describes the setting and the process leading to secularization of the population; the simulations give more insight into the process; and 'secularization regressions' estimate the effects of the various explanatory variables on secularization (that is measured by rare mass-attendance and by rare-prayer), lending support to corollaries derived from the theory and simulations. The main conclusions/findings are that (i) direct religious socialization efforts of one generation have a negative effect on secularization within the next generation; (ii) oblique socialization by the community has a parabolic effect on secularization; and (iii) the two types of socialization are complements in 'producing' religiosity of the next generation.

Keywords: cultural transmission; religion; fertility; secularization; ISSP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul and nep-evo
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Related works:
Journal Article: The evolution of secularization: cultural transmission, religion and fertility—theory, simulations and evidence (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility. Theory, Simulations and Evidence (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence (2010) Downloads
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