L’Observatoire des religions

Individual’s religiosity enhances trust : Latin American evidence for the puzzle

mardi 18 décembre 2007 par Maximo Rossi

This paper explores the effect of religious observance and affiliation to the dominant religion (Catholicism) on trust in institutions, towards others and market attitudes. The analysis is performed using a Latin American database of twenty thousand respondents from 2004 by means of ordered probit models.
The most interesting results are : i) Trust toward others is positively correlated with religious observance and with Catholic affiliation. ii) There is a positive correlation between trust in the government, in the police, in the armed forces, in the judiciary and in the banking system and religious practice in general. Identical positive results are obtained for Catholic affiliation. iii) Correlations with attitudes toward the market, in general, are heterogeneous but never negative. In sum, individual’s level of religiosity crucially affects trust in institutions and toward peers. We also found that Catholicism encourages both trust in institutions and towards others.
Thus, we found a positive effect of “religiosity” on social capital. In fact, we never found any negative (and significant) effect on the variables considered.

Papers on Economics of Religion from Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada.

Keywords : trust in institutions ; economic behavior ; religious practise ; Catholics


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