Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?

  • NICLAS BERGGREN (a1) and CHRISTIAN BJØRNSKOV (a2)
Abstract

Social and cultural determinants of economic institutions and outcomes have come to the forefront of economic research. We introduce religiosity, measured as the share for which religion is important in daily life, to explain institutional quality in the form of property rights and the rule of law. Previous studies have only measured the impact of membership shares of different religions, with mixed results. We find, in a cross-country regression analysis comprising up to 112 countries, that religiosity is negatively related to our institutional outcome variables. This only holds in democracies (not autocracies), which suggests that religiosity affects the way institutions work through the political process. Individual religions are not related to our measures of institutional quality.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Email: niclas.berggren@ifn.se
References
Hide All
Acemoglu, D. and Johnson, S. (2005), ‘Unbundling Institutions’, Journal of Political Economy, 113 (5): 949995.
Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., and Robinson, J. A. (2005), ‘Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-run Growth’, in Aghion, P. and Durlauf, S. N. (eds.), Handbook of Economic Growth: Volume 1A, Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 385472.
Aghion, P., Alesina, A., and Trebbi, F. (2004), ‘Endogenous Political Institutions’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119 (2): 565611.
Alesina, A., Devleeschauwer, A., Easterly, W., Kurlat, S., and Wazciarg, R. (2003), ‘Fractionalization’, Journal of Economic Growth, 8 (2): 155194.
Ayyagari, M., Demirgüç-Kunt, A., and Maksimovic, V. (2006), ‘How Well Do Institutional Theories Explain Firms’ Perceptions of Property Rights?’, Review of Financial Studies, 21 (4): 18331871.
Baier, C. J. and Wright, B. R. E. (2001), ‘“If You Love Me, Keep My Commandments”: A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Religion on Crime’, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 38 (1): 321.
Barro, R. J. and McCleary, R. M. (2005), ‘Which Countries Have State Religions?’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120 (4): 13311370.
Berggren, N. (1997), ‘Rhetoric or Reality? An Economic Analysis of the Effects of Religion in Sweden’, Journal of Socio-Economics, 26 (6): 571596.
Berggren, N. and Bjørnskov, C. (2011), ‘Is the Importance of Religion in Daily Life Related to Social Trust? Evidence from Cross-Country and Cross-State Comparisons’, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 80 (3): 459480.
Berggren, N. and Jordahl, H. (2005), ‘Does Free Trade Really Reduce Growth? Further Testing Using the Economic Freedom Index’, Public Choice, 122 (1–2): 99114.
Besley, T., Persson, T., and Sturm, D. M. (2010), ‘Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the U.S. States’, Review of Economic Studies, 77 (4): 13291352.
Bjørnskov, C. (2008), ‘The Growth–Inequality Association: Government Ideology Matters’, Journal of Development Economics, 87 (2): 300308.
Bjørnskov, C. (2010), ‘How Does Social Trust Lead to Better Governance? An Attempt to Separate Electoral and Bureaucratic Mechanisms’, Public Choice, 144 (1–2): 323346.
Brambor, T., Clark, W. R., and Golder, M. (2006), ‘Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analysis’, Political Analysis, 14 (1): 6382.
Cheibub, J. A., Gandhi, J., and Vreeland, J. R. (2010), ‘Democracy and Dictatorship Revisited’, Public Choice, 143 (1–2): 67101.
CIA (2010), CIA World Factbook 2010, Langley, VA: Central Intelligence Agency.
Dunning, T. (2008), ‘Model Specification in Instrumental-Variables Regression’, Political Analysis, 16 (3): 290302.
Durlauf, S. N., Kourtellos, A., and Tan, C. M. (2011), ‘Is God in the Details? A Reexamination of the Role of Religion in Economic Growth’, Journal of Applied Econometrics, 27 (7): 10591075.
Fere, S. and Klanjšek, R. (2009), ‘Cross-Cultural Insight into the Association between Authoritarianism and Religiousness’, Archives for the Psychology of Religion, 31 (2): 177190.
Gallup (2009), ‘Gallup World Poll’, http://www.gallup.com/consulting/worldpoll/24046/About.aspx (accessed 29 November 2011).
Gundlach, E. and Paldam, M. (2009), ‘A Farewell to Critical Junctures: Sorting Out Long-Run Causality of Income and Democracy’, European Journal of Political Economy, 25 (3): 340354.
Halman, L. C. J. M. and Draulans, V. J. R. (2006), ‘How Secular is Europe?’, British Journal of Sociology, 57 (2): 263288.
Hayek, F. A. (1960), The Constitution of Liberty, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Hayek, F. A. (1973), Law Legislation and Liberty: Rules and Order, London: Routledge.
Hayek, F. A. (1991), The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Heaton, P. (2006), ‘Does Religion Really Reduce Crime?’, Journal of Law & Economics, 49 (1): 147172.
Heritage Foundation (2010), 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation.
Heston, A., Summers, R., and Aten, B. (2006), Penn World Tables Mark 6.2, Center for International Comparisons of Production, Income and Prices, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Hull, B. B. and Bold, F. (1994), ‘Hell, Religion, and Cultural Change’, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 150 (3): 447464.
Iannaccone, L. R., Finke, R., and Stark, R. (1997), ‘Deregulating Religion: The Economics of Church and State’,Economic Inquiry, 35 (2): 350364.
Iannaccone, L. R. (1998), ‘Introduction to the Economics of Religion’, Journal of Economic Literature, 36 (3): 14651496.
Kaufmann, D., Kraay, A., and Mastruzzi, M. (2008), ‘Governance Matters VII: Aggregate and Individual Governance Indicators 1996–2007’, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4654, Washington, DC: The World Bank.
Kelejian, H. H. (1971), ‘Two-Stage Least Squares and Econometric Systems Linear in Parameters but Nonlinear in the Endogenous Variables’, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 66 (334): 373374.
Knack, S. (2002), ‘Social Capital and the Quality of Government: Evidence from the U.S. States’, American Journal of Political Science, 46 (4): 772785.
Knack, S. and Langbein, L. (2010), ‘The Worldwide Governance Indicators and Tautology: Six, One, or None?’, Journal of Development Studies, 46 (2): 350370.
La Porta, R., Lopez-de-Silanes, F., Shleifer, A., and Vishny, R. W. (1999), ‘The Quality of Government’, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, 15 (1): 222279.
Levine, R. (2005), ‘Law, Endowments and Property Rights’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19 (3): 6188.
Lynn, R., Harvey, J., and Nyborg, H. (2008), ‘Average Intelligence Predicts Atheism Rates Across 137 Nations’, Intelligence, 37 (1): 1115.
McCleary, R. M. and Barro, R. J. (2006), ‘Religion and Economy’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20 (2): 4972.
Mueller, D. C. (2009), Reason, Religion & Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
North, D. C. (1981), Structure and Change in Economic History, New York, NY: Norton.
North, C. M., Orman, W. H., and Gwin, C. R. (2013), ‘Religion, Corruption, and the Rule of Law’, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, forthcoming.
Nyborg, H. (2008), ‘The Intelligence-Religiosity Nexus: A Representative Study of White Adolescent Americans’, Intelligence, 37 (1): 8193.
O'Donnell, G. A. (2004), ‘Why the Rule of Law Matters’, Journal of Democracy, 15 (4): 3246.
Putnam, R. D. (1993), Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Putnam, R. D. and Campbell, D. E. (2010), American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Rigobón, R. and Rodrik, D. (2005), ‘Rule of Law, Democracy, Openness, and Income: Estimating the Interrelationships’, Economics of Transition, 13 (3): 533564.
Rode, M. and Gwartney, J. D. (2012), ‘Does Democratization Facilitate Economic Liberalization?’, European Journal of Political Economy, 28 (4): 607619.
Rodrik, D., Subramanian, A., and Trebbi, F. (2004), ‘Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development’, Journal of Economic Growth, 9 (2): 131165.
Shariff, A. F. and Rhemtulla, M. (2012), ‘Divergent Effects of Beliefs in Heaven and Hell on National Crime Rates’, PLoS ONE, 7 (6): e39048.
Wattles, J. (1996), The Golden Rule, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wilson, R. (1997), Economics, Ethics and Religion: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Economic Thought, New York, NY: New York University Press.
Wisneski, D. C., Lytle, B. L., and Skitka, L. J. (2009), ‘Gut Reactions: Moral Conviction, Religiosity, and Trust in Authority’, Psychological Science, 20 (9): 10591063.
Yoo, D. and Steckel, R. H. (2010), ‘Property Rights and Financial Development: The Legacy of Japanese Colonial Institutions’, NBER Working Paper 16551, Cambridge, MA: NBER.
Zweynert, J. (2009), ‘Interests versus Culture in the Theory of Institutional Change?’, Journal of Institutional Economics, 5 (3): 339360.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Institutional Economics
  • ISSN: 1744-1374
  • EISSN: 1744-1382
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-institutional-economics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 47 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 457 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.