Does Religious Affiliation Protect People's Well-being? Evidence from the Great Recession After Correcting for Selection Effects
30 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2019 Last revised: 18 Nov 2019
Date Written: November 15, 2019
This paper investigates the effect of religious affiliation on individual well-being. Using Gallup’s U.S. Daily Poll between 2008 and 2017, we find that those who are engaged in their local church and view their faith as important to them have remarkably acyclical levels of life satisfaction, in addition to having 6% higher current life satisfaction and probability of thriving. We show that the acyclicality of subjective well-being among Christians is not driven by selection effects, or even simply by the presence of greater social capital, but rather a sense of purpose over the business cycle independent of financial circumstances.
Keywords: Well-being, life satisfaction, social capital, business cycle, financial circumstances
JEL Classification: E32, I12, I31, Z12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation