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Crime deterrence role of Romanian churches

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We analyse the crime deterrence role of Romanian churches using a data sample of crime in all 42 Romanian counties from 2001 to 2013. We aim to determine whether the public funding of churches can be justified by the role Romanian churches play in deterring illegal behaviour. The decision to build a new church in a certain location can be endogenous; therefore, we use as an instrument the built-up area of counties’ cities in the 1990s. After controlling for the endogeneity of the number of churches, our estimations show that Romanian churches significantly diminish local crime rates. Adventist, Baptist, Catholic and Orthodox churches tend to play an active role in the deterrence of local crime. Hence, Romanian churches not only provide religious services, but also promote religious norms and strengthen the social ties between parishioners, help prevent crime.
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Keywords: K19; K42; P39; Religion; church; conviction; crime

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: EconomiX, Paris West University Nanterre La Défense, Paris, France

Publication date: October 2, 2017

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