Does Higher Religiosity Translate into Higher Institutional Quality? Evidence From 98 Countries

Ayse Y. Evrensel, Itai Sened

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines whether individuals’ higher moral values stemming from higher religiosity lead to higher institutional quality at the country level. Based on the data from World Values Survey (WVS, 1980-2014) with 343,440 respondents, the results indicate that higher religiosity is associated with lower justifiability of corrupt behavior such as cheating on taxes, receiving false government benefits, and taking bribes. However, at the level of 98 countries from which the respondents in the WVS stem, higher religiosity seems to have an adverse effect on institutional quality as measured in corruption control, executive constraints, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and the rule of law. Therefore, higher religiosity and moral standards at the respondent level may not translate into higher institutional quality at the country level. We discuss possible reasons for this discrepancy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • corruption
  • culture
  • institutions
  • religiosity
  • rule of law

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