Human Flourishing and Religious Liberty: Evidence from Over 150 Countries, 2006-2018
29 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 21, 2019
This paper studies patterns of religious liberty across countries and its effect on human flourishing. First, religious liberty has declined by 13% in the median country over the past decade, particularly among countries that rank higher in economic freedom. Religious liberty nonetheless remains highly correlated with measures of economic freedom and economic development. Second, using micro-data across over 150 countries in the world between 2006 and 2018, a 1sd rise religious freedom is associated with a 0.03pp rise in human flourishing even after controlling for time-invariant characteristics across space and time and a wide array of time-varying country-specific factors.
Keywords: economic development, human flourishing, religious liberty, subjective well being
JEL Classification: E20, H10, O40, O43, Z12
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