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
Date Written: February 28, 2018
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: Suggested Citation