In God We Learn? Religions' Universal Messages, Context-Specific Effects, and Minority Status

51 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2016  

Pierre-Guillaume Meon

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB); Université Robert Schuman Strasbourg III

Ilan Tojerow

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Department of Applied Economics (DULBEA); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We study the relationship between major religious denominations and individuals' levels of education, using the World Values Survey. In a first step, running country-by-country regressions, we report first-time evidence that no single denomination has a universal effect on education. Each denomination has a positive and statistically significant effect in some countries, a negative and statistically significant effect in others, and a statistically insignificant effect elsewhere. In a second step, we relate the sign of the impact of a denomination in a country to whether the denomination is a minority in that country. We find that denominations that are a minority in a country are more likely to be associated with a higher level of education, and less likely to be associated with a lower level of education in that country. In both steps, the findings are independent from the specification of the regressions used in the first stage to determine the sign of the impact of denominations on educational outcomes. The finding of the second step is moreover robust to defining minority denominations using various thresholds. It is robust to controlling for whether the denomination is a state religion, for the country's level of democracy, per capita GDP, or level of education, to introducing denomination - and country - fixed effects, and to controlling for the identity of the largest other denomination in the country.

Keywords: religion, education, minority

JEL Classification: I2, O5, Z1

Suggested Citation

Meon, Pierre-Guillaume and Tojerow, Ilan, In God We Learn? Religions' Universal Messages, Context-Specific Effects, and Minority Status. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10077. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2819358

Pierre-Guillaume Meon (Contact Author)

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) ( email )

CP 132 Av FD Roosevelt 50
Brussels, Brussels 1050
Belgium

Université Robert Schuman Strasbourg III ( email )

47, Avenue de la Foret-Noire
Institut d'Etudes Politiques
67082 Strasbourg Cedex
France
33 3 88 41 77 21 (Phone)
33 3 88 41 77 78 (Fax)

Ilan Tojerow

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Department of Applied Economics (DULBEA) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://homepages.ulb.ac.be/~itojerow/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paper statistics

Downloads
40
Abstract Views
163