Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law?

27 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2012 Last revised: 24 Apr 2012

Niclas Berggren

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies

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Date Written: March 2, 2012

Abstract

Social and cultural determinants of economic institutions and outcomes have come to the forefront of economic research. We introduce religiosity, measured as the share for which religion is important in daily life, to explain institutional quality in the form of property rights and the rule of law. Previous studies have only measured the impact of membership shares of different religions, with mixed results. We find, in a cross-country regression analysis comprising up to 112 countries, that religiosity is negatively related to our institutional outcome variables. This only holds in democracies (not autocracies), which suggests that religiosity affects the way institutions work through the political process. Individual religions are not related to our measure of institutional quality.

Keywords: Religion, religiosity, rule of law, property rights, institutions

JEL Classification: K11, K42, Z12

Suggested Citation

Berggren, Niclas and Bjørnskov, Christian, Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law? (March 2, 2012). IFN Working Paper No. 905. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2014751 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2014751

Niclas Berggren (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/nb

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

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