Development and Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center
Jean Paul Carvalho
University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics
October 15, 2011
GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 11-45
Why do religious minorities respond in different ways to economic development? We develop a model of religious organizations based on a historical case study of Jewish emancipation in nineteenth century Europe. In Germany, a liberal Reform movement developed in response to emancipation, while ultra-Orthodox Judaism emerged in eastern Europe. Our explanation for this polarization contributes to an understanding of how economic development shapes the character of religion and sheds light on the conditions determining whether minority groups embrace or resist cultural integration. We show that rising levels of economic development can produce stricter forms of religiosity, religious polarization and cycles.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: club goods, religious polarization, community, Jewish emancipation
Date posted: November 6, 2011
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