The Institutional Foundations of Religious Freedom

37 Pages Posted: 12 May 2021

See all articles by Mark Koyama

Mark Koyama

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: October 2020

Abstract

How did religious freedom emerge? I address this question by building on the framework of Johnson and Koyama (2019). First, I establish that premodern societies, reliant on identity rules, were incapable of liberalism and religious freedom. Identity rules and restrictions on religious freedom were part of a political economy equilibrium that ensured social order. Second, I examine developments like the Reformation and the Industrial Revolution, as shocks to this premodern identity rules and conditional toleration equilibrium. Finally, I consider several examples that support the claim that the move from identity rules to general rules allowed religious freedom to flourish.

Keywords: Institutions, Economics of Religion, Rule of Law

JEL Classification: N0, N4, N43, Z1

Suggested Citation

Koyama, Mark, The Institutional Foundations of Religious Freedom (October 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3841745 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3841745

Mark Koyama (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~mkoyama2/About.html

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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