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Does Church Attendance Really Increase Schooling?

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This article shows that religiosity during adolescence has a significant effect on total number of years of schooling attained. It differs from previous research by focusing on church attendance rather than on denomination and by controlling more completely for the effects of omitted-variables bias. Any estimated correlation between church attendance and schooling without such controls may reflect unmeasured family, community, and individual characteristics. The size of the effect for individuals who attended church 52 weeks per year compared to individuals who do not attend at all is equivalent to over three years of parents' schooling. This finding implies that changes in church attendance, either due to exogenous changes in attitudes or as an indirect effect of government or other institutional activity, may have large spill-over effects on socioeconomic variables.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2004

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