Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/107937
Authors: 
Strulik, Holger
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Papers, Center for European Governance and Economic Development Research 234
Abstract: 
This paper integrates a simple theory of identity choice into a framework of endogenous economic growth to explain how secularization can be both cause and consequence of economic development. A secular identity allows an individual to derive more pleasure from consumption than religious individuals, leading secular individuals to work harder and to save more in order to experience this pleasure from consumption. These activities are conducive to economic growth. Higher income makes consumption more affordable and increases the appeal of a secular identity for the next generation. An extension of the basic model investigates the Protestant Reformation as an intermediate stage during the take-off to growth. Another extension introduces intergenerationally dependent religious preferences and demonstrates how a social multiplier amplifies the speed of secularization.
Subjects: 
economic growth
religion
identity
productivity
secularization
comparative development
JEL: 
N30
O10
O40
Z12
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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