Religious, Civil, and Economic Freedoms: What's the Chicken and What's the Egg?

45 Pages Posted: 1 May 2021

See all articles by Christos Makridis

Christos Makridis

Stanford University; Columbia University - Columbia Business School; Arizona State University (ASU); Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Date Written: April 24, 2021

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between religious liberty and economic freedom. First, three new facts emerge: (a) religious liberty has increased since 1960, but has slipped substantially over the past decade; (b) the countries that experienced the largest declines in religious liberty tend to have greater economic freedom, especially property rights; (c) changes in religious liberty are associated with changes in the allocation of time to religious activities. Second, using a combination of vector autoregressions and dynamic panel methods, improvements in religious liberty tend to precede economic freedom. Finally, increases in religious liberty have a wide array of spillovers that are important determinants of economic freedom and explain the direction of causality. Countries cannot have long-run economic prosperity and freedom without actively allowing for and promoting religious liberty.

Keywords: Economic Development, Economic Freedom, Human Flourishing, Religious Liberty

JEL Classification: E61, H41, O43, O47

Suggested Citation

Makridis, Christos, Religious, Civil, and Economic Freedoms: What's the Chicken and What's the Egg? (April 24, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3833196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3833196

Christos Makridis (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ( email )

810 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20420
United States

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