Religion, Culture, and Economic Performance

50 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2003

See all articles by Marcus Noland

Marcus Noland

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics; East-West Center

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2003


The hypothesis that the coefficients on variables of religious affiliation are jointly equal to zero can frequently be rejected at conventional levels of statistical significance (i.e., religion matters), but no robust relationship between adherence to major world religions and national economic performance is uncovered, using both cross-national and subnational data. The results with respect to Islam do not support the notion that it is inimical to growth. On the contrary, every statistically significant coefficient on Muslim population shares reported in this paper - in both cross-country and within-country statistical analyses - is positive. If anything, Islam promotes growth.

Keywords: Economic growth, convergence, religion, Islam, India, Malaysia, Ghana

JEL Classification: O40, Z12

Suggested Citation

Noland, Marcus, Religion, Culture, and Economic Performance (September 2003). Available at SSRN: or

Marcus Noland (Contact Author)

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

East-West Center ( email )

1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96848-1601
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics