Religious, Civil, and Economic Freedoms: What's the Chicken and What's the Egg?
45 Pages Posted: 1 May 2021
Date Written: April 24, 2021
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: Suggested Citation