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Economic growth and religious production efficiency

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Abstract:

Moral institutions, religions and ethics affect the economic development, as for example, trust and honesty are essential requirements for emerging economic activity. Religious production efficiency measure is constructed and used in economic growth regressions for 8 OECD countries. By using panel estimation methods and additionally time-series estimations for each country, more information is gained concerning the country specific growth and religion characteristics. Empirical evidence from the panel data estimations seems to suggest that religious beliefs attain more relevance than religious attendance. Religious production efficiency, containing both belief and activity aspects, was not found statistically significant with panel data or with individiual 8 OECD countries growth model, except for Finland. Significant coefficient for Finland can be explained by referring to Finland's unique religious market properties, as the level of religious beliefs have historically been unusually high in Finland. On the other hand, attendance in religious activities has followed the typical Northern-European decreasing trend. More exact understanding on the links between these concepts are essentially needed to better model the economic consequences of cultural, religious and moral variables.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840500217531

Affiliations: University of Jyväskylä, School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä, PO Box 35, FIN-40014 Finland, Email: eman@econ.jyu.fi

Publication date: November 10, 2005

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