Culture: Persistence and evolution

Francesco Giavazzi, Ivan Petkov, Fabio Schiantarelli, 16 June 2014



Are a person’s values and beliefs persistent, or do they evolve – possibly rather quickly – in response to the economic and institutional environment? This is a central question, for instance, if one is interested in assessing the likelihood of success of reforms that change rules within a country.

Topics: Frontiers of economic research, Institutions and economics, Migration
Tags: attitudes, beliefs, Culture, immigration, religion, US, values

Newspaper readership, civic attitudes, and economic development: Evidence from the history of African media

Julia Cagé, Valeria Rueda, 14 May 2014



Poor governance due to lack of political accountability is often cited as an explanation for the low level of economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. Lack of political accountability can emerge when voters do not choose their candidates according to their expected performance.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Institutions and economics, Politics and economics
Tags: accountability, Africa, democracy, development, media, religion, technology, voting

Religion matters, in life and death

Sascha O Becker, Ludger Woessmann, 15 January 2012



As early as 1897, French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1897) in his classic Le suicide presented aggregate indicators suggesting that Protestantism was a leading correlate of suicide incidence.

Topics: Economic history, Frontiers of economic research, Politics and economics
Tags: religion, suicide

Institutions, religion, and the rise of Europe vis-à-vis the Middle East: A long-run reversal of fortunes

Jared Rubin, 22 December 2011



By almost any available economic measure, the Middle East, China, and India were ahead of Europe one thousand years ago. Their science and technology were more advanced than in Europe, their trade flowed in higher volumes and over longer distances, and they employed more complicated financial instruments to facilitate trade.

Topics: Development
Tags: interest restriction, religion

Religion makes people happy, so why is church attendance declining?

Bruno S Frey, Jana Gallus, 2 October 2011



Modern happiness research leaves no doubt that religious people are happier than their contemporaries. And the causality runs from religion to happiness (though it might also be possible that religious people are less interested in material aspects and, therefore, less affluent).

Topics: Frontiers of economic research
Tags: churches, happiness research, life satisfaction, religion, welfare

On the origin of the family

Marco Francesconi, Christian Ghiglino, Motty Perry, 11 February 2010



Why do humans live in families? The fact that only 3% of avian and mammal species are known to be familial suggests that the emergence of the family cannot be taken for granted, even among humans (Emlen 1995). Divorce is a common feature of modern life and non-traditional family structures are growing more common.

Topics: Frontiers of economic research
Tags: family, fidelity, religion

AIDS prevention: Abstinence vs. risk reduction

Esther Duflo, 20 April 2009



On his first visit to Africa, Pope Benedict XVI reiterated that the distribution of condoms by health authorities won’t resolve the AIDS epidemic in Africa, adding that “on the contrary, it increases the problem.”

Topics: Development, Health economics
Tags: abstinence, Africa, AIDS, condoms, randomised experiment, religion

The opiate of the elites

Andrew Gelman, David Park, Boris Shor, Jeronimo Cortina, 21 April 2008



Barack Obama attracted attention recently by describing small-town Americans who were “bitter” at economic prospects who “cling to guns or religion’’ in frustration. This statement, made during the height of the Democratic nomination battle, has received a lot of attention, but it represents a common view.

Topics: Politics and economics
Tags: conservative parties, Democrats, religion, Republicans, social class, US, voting

Religion influences people's decision to become an entrepreneur

David B Audretsch, Werner Bönte, Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada , 9 July 2007

Although a number of economists have argued that religion plays a fundamental role in shaping economics, only scant attention has recently been given as to how and why religion might act as a determinant of economic activity. It has been suggested that values and attitudes are as much a part of the economy as institutions and policies are.

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Topics: Productivity and Innovation
Tags: caste-system, entrepreneurship, India, religion

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