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Development and Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism

51 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2011  

Mark Koyama

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Jean Paul Carvalho

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 15, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: club goods, religious polarization, community, Jewish emancipation

Suggested Citation

Koyama, Mark and Carvalho, Jean Paul, Development and Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (October 15, 2011). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 11-45. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1955232 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1955232

Mark Koyama (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~mkoyama2/About.html

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Jean Paul Carvalho

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

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