The effect of religion on economic development: A cross national study of 63 former colonies

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Abstract

In this paper I present a statistical test of the hypothesis that Protestantism is positively associated with economic growth. I also investigate whether religion can help to explain why ex-Spanish and French colonies have significantly lower economic growth than ex-British colonies. I find that the growth rate of Protestantism is signficantly and positively correlated with real GDP growth, and that the level of Protestantism is significantly related to real per-capita GDP levels. While the results imply that Protestantism plays an important level in development, its inclusion in the cross-country regressions do not close the gap between the ex-colonial states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-62
Number of pages16
JournalKyklos
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

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