June 11, 2006

Economics of Religion

There has not been that much systematic study about the economics of religion. But there has been some. Here are the working papers from a couple researchers whose work I found interesting:

Robert Barro (Harvard) is pursuing a number of avenues of research on economics and religion and is coauthor of "Religion and Economic Growth," a paper which notes that economic growth is positively correlated with belief in Heaven and Hell (Hell more strongly) and negatively correlated with religious observance (going to church regularly).

Barro's working papers are available here.

Larry Iannaccone (George Mason) runs the Center for Economic Study of Religion, and is a strong advocate of more aggressively mining existing data for information about the economic impact and behavior of religion. By asking people of various ages about church-going habits from their childhood, he has built very interesting time-series data on historical religious observance in dozens of countries around the world.

A number of working papers by Iannacocone and others are available here.

Posted by David at June 11, 2006 12:28 PM

Hi David!

I just wanted to point out that a lot of personal finance bloggers are religious folk and apparently there is something out there called 'prosperity theology'. You might want to look into it.

Another thing is that a lot of churches are taking offerings/tithes by credit card. That kind of strikes me as an oxymoron. I am sure somewhere there is a theologian rolling over in his grave over this.

Just two cents about religion and money.


Posted by: mapgirl at June 14, 2006 03:37 PM
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