Mar 15, 2012

Religiosity, property rights, and the rule of law

A new paper, "Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law?" by Berggren and Bjørnskov (January 2012) claims:
We have explored the cross-country association between religiosity and two indices of the de facto protection of property rights. Whereas the previous empirical literature has utilised religious membership shares as their measure of religion, with ambiguous findings, we introduce religiosity (measured as the share of people in different countries that indicate that religion is an important part of daily life) as a new aspect of potential relevance for institutional quality.
It concludes:
In the empirical analysis, we find a clear, negative and statistically significant effect of the importance of religion in daily life on two institutional measures.
What institutional measures?
The Heritage and Kaufmann indices.

A graph from the paper:

I believe The US is pretty exceptional in this issue (the relationship between these variables seems to be positive).
HT: Eugene Beaulieu.

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