Secularization and long-run economic growth
Holger Strulik ()
No 234, Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers from University of Goettingen, Department of Economics
This paper integrates a simple theory of identity choice into a framework of endogenous economic growth to explain how secularization can be both cause and consequence of economic development. A secular identity allows an individual to derive more pleasure from consumption than religious individuals, leading secular individuals to work harder and to save more in order to experience this pleasure from consumption. These activities are conducive to economic growth. Higher income makes consumption more affordable and increases the appeal of a secular identity for the next generation. An extension of the basic model investigates the Protestant Reformation as an intermediate stage during the take-off to growth. Another extension introduces intergenerationally dependent religious preferences and demonstrates how a social multiplier amplifies the speed of secularization.
Keywords: economic growth; religion; identity; productivity; secularization; comparative development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N30 O10 O40 Z12 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-gro and nep-his
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Journal Article: SECULARIZATION AND LONG-RUN ECONOMIC GROWTH (2016)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:cegedp:234
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