Sunday, August 27, 2017

More education reduces religiosity, religious acts and superstitious beliefs

Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition. Naci Mocan, Luiza Pogorelov. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,

•    Micro data are used, in conjunction with schooling reforms implemented in 14 European countries.
•    Exposure to the mandate of the education reform is used as an instrument for years of schooling.
•    The impact of education on religiosity, and on social as well as solitary religious acts are analyzed.
•    The impact of education on superstitious beliefs is analyzed.
•    More education, due to the reforms, reduces religiosity, religious acts and superstitious beliefs.

Abstract: We exploit information on compulsory schooling reforms in 14 European countries, implemented mostly in the 1960s and 70s, to identify the impact of education on religious adherence and religious practices. Using micro data from the European Social Survey, conducted in various years between 2002 and 2013, we find consistently negative effects of schooling on religiosity, social religious acts (attending religious services), as well as solitary religious acts (the frequency of praying). We also use data from European Values Survey to apply the same empirical design to analyze the impact of schooling on superstitious beliefs. We find that more education, due to increased mandatory years of schooling, reduces individuals’ propensity to believe in the power of lucky charms and the tendency to take into account horoscopes in daily life.

Keywords: Education; Secularism; Horoscope; Praying; Europe; Reform

Check also: The Future of Secularism: A Biologically Informed Theory Supplemented with Cross-Cultural Evidence. Lee Ellis et al. Evolutionary Psychological Science, September 2017, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 224–242,

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