Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/142248
Authors: 
Herzer, Dierk
Strulik, Holger
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Papers, Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research 284
Abstract: 
In this paper, we show, using a panel of developed countries, that there is a long-run negative association between church attendance and total factor productivity (TFP) with predictive causality running from declining church attendance to increasing factor productivity. According to our preferred estimate, about 18% of the increase in TFP from 1950 to 1990 is caused by declining religiosity. In order to explain this phenomenon, we integrate into standard R&D-based growth theory a micro-foundation of individual cognitive style, which is either intuitive-believing or reflective-analytical. Under the assumption that R&D productivity is positively influenced by a reflectiveanalytical cognitive style, we find that secularization leads to an increasing labor share in R&D and gradually increasing productivity growth. We use these insights to reflect on trends in religiosity and R&D-based growth in the very long run, from Enlightenment to the present day.
Subjects: 
religiosity
church attendance
factor productivity
cognitive style
R&D-based growth
JEL: 
N30
O11
C23
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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