Religion and Income: Heterogeneity between Countries

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 2008-014/3

40 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2008

See all articles by Leon J.H. Bettendorf

Leon J.H. Bettendorf

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Elbert Dijkgraaf

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Erasmus University Rotterdam, SEOR-ECRi

Date Written: January 28, 2008

Abstract

This paper tests whether behaviour of households in different countries is homogeneous with respect to the influence of religion on income. The violation of the homogeneity assumption would have two consequences. First, results based on country studies might not be applicable to other countries. Second, one should be careful when pooling cross-country data in this type of research. Data at household level of the European and World Values Survey are pooled for 25 Western countries. We estimate simultaneously an income and a religion equation to correct for the endogeneity of religiosity. We find that estimation outcomes are different between low and high-income countries. Whereas church membership is found to have a positive effect on income for high-income countries, this effect is negative for low-income countries. This result is robust to denominational distribution, participation effects and alternative measures of religiosity.

Keywords: Income, Religious Membership, Religious Participation

JEL Classification: Z12, D31

Suggested Citation

Bettendorf, Leon J.H. and Dijkgraaf, Elbert, Religion and Income: Heterogeneity between Countries (January 28, 2008). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 2008-014/3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1088980 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1088980

Leon J.H. Bettendorf (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 4081808 (Phone)

Elbert Dijkgraaf

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Erasmus University Rotterdam, SEOR-ECRi ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
H 7-34
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 4082590 (Phone)
+31 10 4089650 (Fax)

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