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Fan, S. C. (2008). Religious participation and children’s education: A social capital approach. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 65 (2), 303-317

Based on the argument in both economic and sociological literature that religion is conducive to children’s human capital formation, this paper provides a model of religious participation and explores a mechanism that “social capital” affects children’s education, a la Coleman [Coleman, J.S., 1988. Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology 94, S95–S120]. The model generates several interesting implications, which help explain some important stylized facts about education and religion. Further, in a dynamic setting, the model shows that there exists a steady state in which individuals allocate a positive amount of time and resources to religious activities. Thus, it complements the existing literature to explain why seemingly unproductive religions can be everlasting.


Fan, Cheng-Ze Simon

C. Simon Fan earned his Ph.D. in economics from Brown University in 1994. He has contributed theoretical and empirical research on various issues of development economics, such as human capital, intergenerational relations, migration, and corruption. His current main research interest is...

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