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The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence


Ronen Bar-El


Open University of Israel

Teresa García-Muñoz


University of Granada - Campus La Cartuja

Shoshana Neuman


Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Yossef Tobol


The Jerusalm College of Technology; The Carmel Academic Center

June 1, 2010

Bar-Ilan University Department of Economics Research Paper No. 2010-10

Abstract:     
This study presents an evolutionary process of secularization that integrates a theoretical model, simulations, and an empirical estimation that employs data from 32 countries (included in the International Social Survey Program: Religion II – ISSP, 1998). Following Bisin and Verdier (2000, 2001a), it is assumed that cultural/social norms are transmitted from one generation to the next one via two venues: (i) direct socialization – across generations, by parents; and (ii) oblique socialization – within generations, by the community and cultural environment. This paper focuses on the transmission of religious norms and in particular on the 'religious taste for children'. The theoretical framework describes the setting and the process leading to secularization of the population; the simulations give more insight into the process; and 'secularization regressions' estimate the effects of the various explanatory variables on secularization (that is measured by rare mass-attendance and by rare-prayer), lending support to corollaries derived from the theory and simulations. The main conclusions/findings are that (i) direct religious socialization efforts of one generation have a negative effect on secularization within the next generation; (ii) oblique socialization by the community has a parabolic effect on secularization; and (iii) the two types of socialization are complements in 'producing' religiosity of the next generation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 63

Keywords: Cultural Transmission, Religion, Fertility, Secularization, ISSP

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Date posted: September 5, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Bar-El, Ronen and García-Muñoz, Teresa and Neuman, Shoshana and Tobol, Yossef, The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence (June 1, 2010). Bar-Ilan University Department of Economics Research Paper No. 2010-10. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1669173 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1669173

Contact Information

Ronen Bar-El
Open University of Israel ( email )
Teresa García-Muñoz
University of Granada - Campus La Cartuja ( email )
Campus La Cartuja
Granada
Spain
Shoshana Neuman (Contact Author)
Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )
Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel
+972 3 531 8393 (Phone)
+972 3 535 3180 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Yossef Tobol
The Jerusalm College of Technology ( email )
Jerusalem
Israel
HOME PAGE: http://www.jct.ac.il/he/tobol
The Carmel Academic Center ( email )
Haifa
Israel
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