Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jun/09

28

Religion & the welfare state

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The fact that high levels of religion tend to be inversely correlated with per capita government social spending is well known on an international scale. But it doesn’t seem true for American states.

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4 comments

  • Conspirama · June 28, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Secular Right » Religion & the welfare state…

    Goto comments Leave a comment. The fact that high levels of religion tend to be inversely correlated with per capita government social spending is well known on an international scale. But it doesn’t seem true for American states. ……

  • Chris · June 29, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Are you looking at state spending, or federal? If the policies determining eligibility for welfare are set at a federal level, then this would obstruct mechanisms (to explain the correlation) that depend on religious or non-religious publics choosing different levels of government-mediated welfare spending. (Assuming, of course, that government policy is interpreted as the dependent variable, which seems to me more likely but shouldn’t be taken completely for granted.)

    The linked post doesn’t seem to address this possibility: as the influence of religion on a society weakens, religiously mediated charity might wither, leading government to step in and fill the gap. (Since nearly all societies a few centuries ago were highly religious, it’s difficult to obtain data on societies in which religious influence is increasing.)

  • Author comment by David Hume · June 29, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    state.

    it’s difficult to obtain data on societies in which religious influence is increasing

    south korea has gone through rapid confessionalization in the 20th century.

  • Kathleen · July 3, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Make sense. A high rate of religious engagement would suggest a high rate of donation to charities which in turn would reduce the need for government social spending because more of the poor would be taken care of at the local community level by said charities.

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