Chapter 21

Religion, Culture, and Development

Gani Aldasheva and Jean-Philippe Platteaua,b,    aUniversity of Namur, Belgium,    bUniversity of Oxford, UK


This chapter tries to synthesize the progress that economists have made towards understanding various aspects of the role of religion in human societies from a development economics perspective. We start by reviewing the contributions that consider religious beliefs as exogenously given and try to understand their effects on individual economic behavior, both directly and through the effect of religion on institutions. Next, we summarize the literature that considers adherence to and interpretation of religious dogmas by individuals as a strategic choice (i.e. using religious beliefs ...

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