Department of Economics and Business Economics

The religious transition - A long-run perspective

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  • Wp09 15

    Final published version, 453 KB, PDF document

  • Martin Paldam
  • Erich Gundlach, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany
  • School of Economics and Management
We use factor analysis to derive a robust measure of religiosity from items reported in five waves of the World Value Survey. Our measure of religiosity is negatively correlated with per capita income. Development apparently causes religiosity to fall to about half its pre-modern level. Most components of the demand for religion are reduced by development. The supply of religion declines once churches lose control over the institutions providing collective goods like education, health, and social security. These goods used to be supplied by churches jointly with religious services but tend to be supplied by the state with rising levels of develop¬ment. Aspects of supply and demand are integrated in a CES production function framework that can explain the direction of causality in the observed negative correlation between income and religiosity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherInstitut for Økonomi, Aarhus Universitet
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Research areas

  • Levels of development, religiosity, biogeography

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