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Aging, Proximity to Death, and Religiousness

Marie Lechler and Uwe Sunde ()
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Marie Lechler: LMU Munich

No 245, Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series from CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition

Abstract: Considerable evidence has documented that the elderly are more religious and that religiousness is associated with better health and lower mortality. Yet, little is known about the reverse role of life expectancy or proximity to death, as opposed to age, for religiousness. This paper provides evidence for the distinct role of expected remaining life years for the importance of religion in individuals’ lives. We combine individual survey response data for more than 311,000 individuals from 95 countries over the period 1994-2014 with information from period life tables. Contrary to wide-held beliefs, religiousness decreases with greater expected proximity to death. The findings have important implications regarding the consequences of population aging for religiousness and associated outcomes.

Keywords: Religiousness; demographics; proximity of death; remaining life years (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J10 N30 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-05-29
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-dem and nep-hea
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