Religiosity and long-run productivity growth
Dierk Herzer and
Holger Strulik ()
No 284, Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers from University of Goettingen, Department of Economics
In this paper, we show, using a panel of developed countries, that there is a long-run negative association between church attendance and total factor productivity (TFP) with predictive causality running from declining church attendance to increasing factor productivity. According to our preferred estimate, about 18% of the increase in TFP from 1950 to 1990 is caused by declining religiosity. In order to explain this phenomenon, we integrate into standard R&D-based growth theory a micro-foundation of individual cognitive style, which is either intuitive-believing or reflective-analytical. Under the assumption that R&D productivity is positively influenced by a reflectiveanalytical cognitive style, we find that secularization leads to an increasing labor share in R&D and gradually increasing productivity growth. We use these insights to reflect on trends in religiosity and R&D-based growth in the very long run, from Enlightenment to the present day.
Keywords: religiosity; church attendance; factor productivity; cognitive style; R&D-based growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N30 O11 C23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-gro, nep-his, nep-ino and nep-soc
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:cegedp:284
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