Department of Economics and Business Economics

Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?

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Social and cultural determinants of economic institutions and outcomes
have come to the forefront of economic research. We introduce religiosity,
measured as the share for which religion is important in daily life, to explain
institutional quality in the form of property rights and the rule of law. Previous
studies have only measured the impact of membership shares of different religions, with mixed results. We find, in a cross-country regression analysis comprising up to 112 countries, that religiosity is negatively related to our institutional outcome variables. This only holds in democracies (not autocracies), which suggests that religiosity affects the way institutions work through the political process.
Individual religions are not related to our measures of institutional quality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Institutional Economics
Volume9
Issue2
Pages (from-to)161-185
Number of pages26
ISSN1744-1374
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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