Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=334329
 
 

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People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes


Luigi Guiso


Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Paola Sapienza


Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Luigi Zingales


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

September 2002

NBER Working Paper No. w9237

Abstract:     
Since Max Weber, there has been an active debate on the impact of religion on people's economic attitudes. Much of the existing evidence, however, is based on cross-country studies in which this impact is confounded by differences in other institutional factors. We use the World Values Surveys to identify the relationship between intensity of religious beliefs and economic attitudes, controlling for country fixed effects. We study several economic attitudes toward cooperation, the government, working women, legal rules, thriftiness, and the market economy. We also distinguish across religious denominations, differentiating on whether a religion is dominant in a country. We find that on average, religious beliefs are associated with good' economic attitudes, where good' is defined as conducive to higher per capita income and growth. Yet religious people tend to be more racist and less favorable with respect to working women. These effects differ across religious denominations. Overall, we find that Christian religions are more positively associated with attitudes conducive to economic growth.

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Date posted: September 27, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Guiso, Luigi and Sapienza, Paola and Zingales, Luigi, People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes (September 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9237. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=334329

Contact Information

Luigi Guiso
Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )
Via Sallustiana 62
Rome, 00187
Italy
+39 06 4792 4858 (Phone)
+39 06 4792 4872 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.eief.it/faculty-visitors/faculty-a-z/luigi-guiso/
Paola Sapienza
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management - Department of Finance ( email )
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-7436 (Phone)
847-491-5719 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Luigi Zingales (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-3196 (Phone)
773-834-2081 (Fax)

Chicago Booth School of Business Logo

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium
HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org
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