Which Religions Still Affect Schooling? A Study of 143 Countries

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This paper studies which world religions have exerted a contemporary influence on the extent of secondary schooling at the national level in the recent past. Using data on 143 countries and the period 1973 to 2012, it finds that both Hinduism and Judaism have a large positive effect, particularly among females. The group of other Eastern religions (which covers comparatively small religions, notably Confucianism) also has a positive effect, though it is slightly smaller, especially among girls. Islam has a negative effect, which is larger among females than among males. Neither Buddhism nor the three branches of Christianity – Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism – have any statistically significant effect. The results are robust to numerous controls and variations in specification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-484
Number of pages46
JournalComparative Sociology
Issue number4
Early online date29 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2016

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