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The Religious Transition - A Long-Run Perspective


Martin Paldam


University of Aarhus - Department of Economics

Erich Gundlach


University of Hamburg

December 4, 2009

Univ. of Aarhus Economics Working Paper No. 2009-15

Abstract:     
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 development. 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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

Keywords: Levels of development, religiosity, biogeography

JEL Classification: O11, Z12

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Date posted: December 6, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Paldam, Martin and Gundlach, Erich, The Religious Transition - A Long-Run Perspective (December 4, 2009). Univ. of Aarhus Economics Working Paper No. 2009-15. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1518351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1518351

Contact Information

Martin Paldam (Contact Author)
University of Aarhus - Department of Economics ( email )
Universitetsparken
Building 350
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Denmark
+45 8942 1133 (Phone)
+45 8613 6334 (Fax)
Erich Gundlach
University of Hamburg ( email )
GIGA Institute of Asian Studies
Rothenbaumchaussee 32
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49 40 42887438 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.erichgundlach.de
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