The Wealth of Religions: The Political Economy of Believing and Belonging, 1st Edition

  • Rachel M. McCleary
  • Robert J. Barro Harvard University
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0691185794
  • ISBN-13: 9780691185798
  • DDC: 174
  • 216 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2019 | Published/Released October 2019
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2019

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This book explains how religious beliefs and practices can influence the wealth of nations. Do countries with stronger beliefs in heaven and hell grow faster economically? Does religious participation matter? Why do some countries experience secularization while others are religiously vibrant? The authors draw on a long record of pioneering research to examine these and other aspects of the economics of religion. They assert that places with firm beliefs in heaven and hell and more time spent in religious activities tend to be more productive and experience faster growth, and that religiosity both influences and is influenced by economic performance. Dimensions of economic development—such as urbanization, education, health, and fertility—matter too, interacting differently with religiosity, along with state regulation and subsidization of religion. Timely and incisive, this volume provides fresh insight into the vital interplay between religion, markets, and economic development.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
The Wealth of Religions.
1: Religion: It's a Market.
2: What Determines Religiousness?.
3: Religion and Economic Growth.
4: Islam and Economic Growth.
5: State Religion.
6: Religious Clubs, Terrorist Organizations, and Tibetan Buddhism.
7: When Saints Come Marching in.
8: The Wealth of Religions.
A Note on the Type.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Robert J. Barro

Born in New York City, Robert Barro moved to Los Angeles, where he studied undergraduate physics at Caltech, including classes from the famous Richard Feynman. He changed his focus to economics for graduate school at Harvard University. Dr. Barro returned to Harvard as a professor in 1987. He served as president of the Western Economic Association and vice president of the American Economic Association. In addition to academic research, Professor Barro is an accomplished writer for the popular press. He worked as a viewpoint columnist for BUSINESSWEEK from 1998 to 2006 and contributing editor of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL from 1991 to 1998.