Estimating the Institutional and Network Effects of Religious Cultures on International Trade

23 Pages Posted: 2 May 2007

See all articles by Joshua J. Lewer

Joshua J. Lewer

Bradley University

Hendrik van den Berg

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

As a social institution, religion directly influences economic behavior, including trade. Religious culture also impacts trade indirectly because it is part of a society's overall culture, which in turn influences many other formal and informal institutions that also directly influence economic activity. Finally, religious cultures support trade networks. Applying panel data for 84 countries for the years 1995-2000 to an augmented gravity model that distinguishes between the direct institutional, indirect institutional, and network effects of religious cultures, we find that only three of the world's eight major religious cultures directly stimulate international trade. However, the majority of the religious cultures seem to indirectly increase trade through their influence on societies' other institutions, and six of the eight major religions have network effects that increase trade.

Suggested Citation

Lewer, Joshua J. and van den Berg, Hendrik, Estimating the Institutional and Network Effects of Religious Cultures on International Trade. Kyklos, Vol. 60, No. 2, pp. 255-277, May 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=982712 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2007.00371.x

Joshua J. Lewer

Bradley University ( email )

1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625
United States
309-677-2301 (Phone)
309-677-4174 (Fax)

Hendrik Van den Berg (Contact Author)

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics ( email )

Lincoln, NE 68588-0489
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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