religion & welfare

A paper that wants to show that church attendance and state welfare programs are negatively correlated. 3QuarksDaily pulls the paper apart on grounds that many relevant variables were left out of the regression analysis and that neither religion nor welfare are as easy to measure across countries as the authors claim.

I only purused the pdf and will thus not add anything to the 3QD analysis. It can be remarked, though, that even the broader thesis that secularism and technological development go hand in hand, though seemingly substantiated by Western Europe, decidedly falls afoul of the United States. This does not mean that the intuition is wrong, only that we have no clue as to how to formulate it – and even less today as twenty years ago.

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