Research Publication Title

Do Religious Beliefs Affect Perception of Social Class?

Presenter Information

Josh DurandFollow

Major

Economics

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brooke Conaway

Keywords

Income, Religion, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish

Abstract

I explore whether religious beliefs affect perceived social class. I use an ordinary least squares model and repeated cross sectional data for the United States between 1999-2014. I further separate the independent variable religion into several dummy variables for different religions and measure the effect they have on perceived social class comparing them to the control variable, no religion. Previous studies have found that religious beliefs do tend to increase income. This increase in income varies greatly among different religions. Christian religions in particular have been found to be especially conducive to economic growth. This study differs from previous studies in the way that it measures perceived social class rather than income. To my knowledge this is the first paper that measures mobility in social class as a result of religious beliefs. I find that religious beliefs do positively affect perceived social class. Belief in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism all lead to higher perception of social class. This research adds to a growing body of research on the economic effects of religion.

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Do Religious Beliefs Affect Perception of Social Class?

I explore whether religious beliefs affect perceived social class. I use an ordinary least squares model and repeated cross sectional data for the United States between 1999-2014. I further separate the independent variable religion into several dummy variables for different religions and measure the effect they have on perceived social class comparing them to the control variable, no religion. Previous studies have found that religious beliefs do tend to increase income. This increase in income varies greatly among different religions. Christian religions in particular have been found to be especially conducive to economic growth. This study differs from previous studies in the way that it measures perceived social class rather than income. To my knowledge this is the first paper that measures mobility in social class as a result of religious beliefs. I find that religious beliefs do positively affect perceived social class. Belief in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism all lead to higher perception of social class. This research adds to a growing body of research on the economic effects of religion.