Can Religion Save Our Health?: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the U.S.

KDI Journal of Economic Policy 2018, 40(1) 31–43

14 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018

See all articles by Yoonsoo Park

Yoonsoo Park

Korea Development Institute (KDI)

Date Written: February 28, 2018

Abstract

There is a large amount of empirical literature reporting that people who regularly attend religious services tend to have better health outcomes. However, it remains an unanswered question as to whether the observed correlation reflects any causality. Exploiting exogenous changes in church attendance driven by law changes in 21 states of the U.S., I find tentative but suggestive evidence that the observed strong correlation between religious participation and health is likely to be driven by endogenous selection.

Keywords: U.S., Religious Participation, Subjective Health, Blue Law, Causal Inference, Instrumental Variable

JEL Classification: I18, Z12, K20

Suggested Citation

Park, Yoonsoo, Can Religion Save Our Health?: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the U.S. (February 28, 2018). KDI Journal of Economic Policy 2018, 40(1) 31–43. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3167635

Yoonsoo Park (Contact Author)

Korea Development Institute (KDI) ( email )

263 Namsejong-ro
Sejong-si 30149
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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