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Steiner, L., Leinert, L., Frey, B. S. (2010). Economics, Religion and Happiness. zfwu Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik 11/1, S9–24

This survey intends to portray the two main approaches of economic research on religion. The first investigates the impact of religion on the economy. Religion and the internalized value system are found to influence economic attitudes output in a favorable way. The second approach is to explain religious behavior with economic models showing how an individual can derive utility from religion. Modern happiness research makes it possible to measure the impact of religion on subjective well-being empirically. The literature finds a positive correlation of religion and happiness, with a robust effect of churchgoing and protestant confession, while the results on internal religiosity are more ambiguous. In our analyses for Switzerland we are able to confirm these results and show that the effect of church going on happiness is quite sizeable.


Steiner, Lasse

Leinert, Lisa

Frey, Bruno S.

Bruno S. Frey is Full Professor of Economics at the University of Zurich, Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Science at the Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick, UK, and Research Director of CREMA - Centre for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts, Switzerland. He is...

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