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Impact of Religion on Economic Development

Date Added: March 16, 2014 01:04:04 PM
Author: admin
Category: Society

According to researches, it has been proved that religious participation increases core religious beliefs, especially the beliefs in religious factors such as heaven, hell, God, scripture and afterlife. We also derive from Max Weber’s thesis on ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’, that productivity rises with a rise in the religious beliefs because of a greater belief in honesty, thrift, work ethics and other such traits.

On the other hand, higher attendance at churches leads to lowered economic growth, which is because more time and money is spent on religious activities rather than in economic activities. Religion also puts restrictions on a number of economic activities involving insurance and credit. Therefore, the economy would witness a much positive response to beliefs than in possessions.

The presence of religion also brings in the carrot and stick approach in the form of salvation and damnation. Hence, this results in much hardworking and loyal people. Currently, the highest rates of religious following are found in Britain, Scandinavian countries and Japan. At the same time, India and the Latin American States are the least religious.

Other religious such as Islam and Judaism which value their scriptures highly and start reading them at an early age, respect and encourage education. Evelyn L. Lehrer’s research ‘Religion as a determinant of economic and demographic behavior in the US’ showed higher rates of education among the Jewish women of US as compared to those of other religions. Her study also showed that because these women were more educated, their fertility rates were low. She suggests that the lower fertility rates also depict educated parents, who have invested more in their children.

At the same time, beliefs that are more religious can also show lower levels of education and social and general knowledge. For example, Amish societies tend to show high involvement in religion, yet the religion insists on boycott from all technology and advancements. Similar trends can be found in many societies throughout the world who are highly religious, yet totally disconnected from the world.

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