Is God in the Details? A Reexamination of the Role of Religion in Economic Growth
Steven N. Durlauf
University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
University of Cyprus - Department of Economics; University of Bologna - Rimini Center for Economic Analysis (RCEA)
Chih Ming Tan
University of North Dakota; Clark University - Department of Economics
January 31, 2011
Journal of Applied Econometrics, Forthcoming
Barro and McCleary (2003) is a key research contribution in the new literature exploring the macroeconomic effects of religious beliefs. This paper represents an effort to evaluate the strength of their claims. We evaluate their results in terms of replicability and robustness. Overall, their analysis generally meets the standard of statistical replicability, though not perfectly. On the other hand, we do not find that their results are robust to changes in their baseline statistical specification. When model averaging methods are employed to integrate information across alternative statistical specifications, little evidence survives that religious variables help to predict cross-country income differences.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Economic Growth, Religion, Model Uncertainty
JEL Classification: C59, O40, Z12Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 3, 2006 ; Last revised: April 24, 2011
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