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The relationship between religion and earnings: recent evidence from the NLS Youth Cohort

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Does religious and denominational background affect earnings and human capital investment? This paper examines religious background and human capital formation for a sample of males from the year 2000 wave of the National Longitudinal Survey Youth 1979 Cohort. This survey provides information that makes it possible to control better for many components of family background in order to isolate the impact of religion and denomination. The paper contains results from analyses of men within broad religious categories as well as within various Protestant denominations, and reports results for different racial and ethnic groups. The method used for the analysis is the estimation of human capital earnings functions. The paper finds evidence that both men raised as Catholics and men raised as Jews have higher earnings, holding other characteristics constant.
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Keywords: Earnings; Human Capital; Religion; United States of America

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2004

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