Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1686489
 
 

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Religious Participation Versus Shopping: What Makes People Happier?


Danny Cohen-Zada


Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics

William Sander


DePaul University - Department of Economics


IZA Discussion Paper No. 5198

Abstract:     
In this paper, we first explore how an exogenous increase in the opportunity cost of religious participation affects individuals' religious participation and reported happiness using data from the General Social Survey. The exogenous shift in the cost of religious participation is a result of repealing of so-called blue laws which restrict retail activity on Sundays. We find that repealing blue laws causes a significant decline in the level of religious participation of white women and in their happiness. We do not observe any significant decline in reported happiness of other groups whose religious participation was not significantly affected by repeal. We also use repeal as an instrumental variable (IV) for church attendance and provide direct evidence that church attendance has a significant positive effect on happiness, especially for women.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 55

Keywords: religious participation, happiness, blue laws

JEL Classification: K10, J16

working papers series





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Date posted: October 4, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Cohen-Zada, Danny and Sander, William, Religious Participation Versus Shopping: What Makes People Happier?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5198. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1686489

Contact Information

Danny Cohen-Zada (Contact Author)
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics ( email )
Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel
William Sander
DePaul University - Department of Economics ( email )
1 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
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