We thank William Roberts Clark, Roger Finke, Jonathan Fox, Anthony Gill, Garrett Glasgow, Sona Nadenichek Golder, Ben Ho, James Honaker, Laurence Iannaccone, Christopher Reenock, Kenneth Scheve, Christopher Zorn, members of the Political Institutions Working Group at Florida State University, and five anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. We also thank audiences at the Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the 2008 annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, and the 2009 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. The data and all computer code necessary to replicate the results and figures in this analysis can be found at https://files.nyu.edu/mrg217/public/ and the American Journal of Political Science Dataverse. STATA 11 was used for all statistical analyses.
Religious Participation and Economic Conservatism
Version of Record online: 27 MAR 2013
©2013, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 57, Issue 4, pages 823–840, October 2013
How to Cite
Gaskins, B., Golder, M. and Siegel, D. A. (2013), Religious Participation and Economic Conservatism. American Journal of Political Science, 57: 823–840. doi: 10.1111/ajps.12024
- Issue online: 8 OCT 2013
- Version of Record online: 27 MAR 2013
Why do some individuals engage in more religious activity than others? And how does this religious activity influence their economic attitudes? We present a formal model in which individuals derive utility from both secular and religious sources. Our model, which incorporates both demand-side and supply-side explanations of religion, is unusual in that it endogenizes both an individual's religious participation and her preferences over economic policy. Using data on over 70 countries from the pooled World Values Survey, we find that religious participation declines with societal development, an individual's ability to produce secular goods, and state regulations on religion, but that it increases with inequality. We also find that religious participation increases economic conservatism among the poor but decreases it among the rich. Our analysis has important insights for the debate about secularization theory and challenges conventional wisdom regarding the relationship between religious participation and economic conservatism.