Does Religious Activity Affect Childbearing Decisions? The Case of Georgia
CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 521
24 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 1, 2014
In response to the problem of shrinking birthrates in the country, in October 2007, the head of the Georgian Orthodox church announced that he would personally baptize any third and further baby born to Orthodox families from that time. This study uses the initiative as a natural experiment to explore the economic consequences of religious activity. This analysis uses individual level survey data from the Caucasus Resource Research Center (CRRC) Georgia on fertility before and after the initiative for Orthodox Christians (treatment group) and Non-Orthodox Christians (control group) population to identify the effect of the church leader’s promise on birth rates. Difference-in-differences estimation procedure is employed to examine the potential causal effect. This analysis does not find evidence that the church initiative had an effect on fertility.
Keywords: fertility, religion, Christianity, Difference-in-Differences, panel data
JEL Classification: J13, Z120, C13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation