مشارکت مذهبی و آموزش کودکان : رویکرد سرمایه اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4093||2008||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 65, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 303–317
Based on the argument in both economic and sociological literature that religion is conducive to children’s human capital formation, this paper provides a model of religious participation and explores a mechanism that “social capital” affects children’s education, a la Coleman [Coleman, J.S., 1988. Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology 94, S95–S120]. The model generates several interesting implications, which help explain some important stylized facts about education and religion. Further, in a dynamic setting, the model shows that there exists a steady state in which individuals allocate a positive amount of time and resources to religious activities. Thus, it complements the existing literature to explain why seemingly unproductive religions can be everlasting.
Inspired by Coleman (1988), there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of “social capital” in the recent economic literature. As reflected in the title of his seminal contribution, Coleman particularly emphasizes that social capital greatly affects individuals’ human capital formation. Along this line of research, the current paper analyzes an important and largely ignored form of social capital in the creation of human capital: religion.1 This paper attempts to achieve two purposes. First, it provides a model of religious participation that adds to the economic literature of religion. Second, it complements the existing human capital models based on social interactions by analyzing a framework in which social capital (e.g. religion) affects children’s educational attainment. This paper links religion to education and posits that individuals participate in religious activities not only because of their religious beliefs, but also because religion is conducive to their children’s human capital formation. There is substantial evidence showing that religion has a significant positive impact on children’s educational attainment and future earnings.2 Also, sociologists’ extensive research indicates that youth raised in religious homes are less likely to engage in criminal activity, use drugs or alcohol, and so on.3 Indeed, many religions emphasize hard work, honesty, seriousness, and responsibility, all of which are conducive to children’s acquisition of cognitive and non-cognitive skills.4 In response, parents’ religious participations are often affected by the concern for their children’s cognitive and moral development. For example, in his influential writing on the sociology of religion, Wilson (1978, pp. 262–263) notes that “…… Religious training is something that all but two percent of American parents feel they should give their children …… (Parents) see (the church) as a place of character building for their children …… Children are frequently the most important consideration in choosing a particular church …… Couples with growing children have the highest rate of church attendance.” Further, as shown by sociologists and psychologists’ research, parents’ religious participation is essential for their children’s religious training.5 For example, Nock (1992, p. 333) summarizes: “…… American parents believe it important that their children receive moral and ethical guidelines from their church. This is why church attendance is highest among parents with young children …… children are much more responsive to the behavioral models than to instruction. They are much more likely to imitate what they see parents and others do than what they hear parents and others say……” Based on the above observations and analyses, I construct a model in which an individual’s religious participation is due to the concern for her children’s human capital formation as well as her religious beliefs. In this model, an individual’s human capital is jointly determined by her family background and her social capital. Specifically, an individual’s family background is represented by her parental human capital, and her social capital is measured by her religious capital. Meanwhile, a household’s religious activities enhance the social capital for the children’s education. In a related paper, Weinberg (2001) analyzes a model in which parents use external incentives, such as pecuniary rewards and/or corporal punishment, to induce their children to exert efforts in human capital accumulation. In contrast, this paper suggests that religious education constitutes a kind of internal enforcement mechanism for children to learn to follow moral rules and exert effort in study.6 In an overlapping generations framework, this model generates several interesting implications. First, it investigates how individuals’ religious participations are endogenously determined in a framework where parental human capital and social capital interact in the creation of human capital. The model implies that there is a close relationship between an individual’s educational attainment and the level of her religious participation. Moreover, it helps to explain an important stylized fact about education and religion revealed by Sacerdote and Glaeser (2001) that in the United States, while religious attendance rises sharply with education across individuals, it declines sharply with education across denominations. Sacerdote and Glaeser explain this phenomenon as that education both increases the returns to social connection and reduces the extent of religious belief. This model provides an alternative explanation, by showing that the result that is consistent with this stylized fact can be obtained if parental human capital and social capital are substitutes in a child’s human capital formation. Next, in a dynamic setting, this paper analyzes the long-run equilibria of individuals’ human capital and religious activities. Under some reasonable assumptions, the model shows that there exists a steady state in which individuals allocate a positive amount of time and resources to religious activities. Thus, the model helps to explain why seemingly unproductive religions can perpetuate. In the received literature, Bisin and Verdier (1998, 2000) demonstrate that cultural and religious traits can be transmitted from one generation to the next because of parents’ “imperfect empathy”. Cozzi (1998) explains the perpetuation of culture and religion as a bubble phenomenon. This paper complements the existing literature by providing a model in which religion is everlasting because of intergenerational altruism and the value of religious/cultural capital in children’s human capital formation. In what follows, Section 2 provides a brief review of some related theoretical literature. Section 3 establishes the basic analytic framework. Section 4 investigates how individuals’ religious participation is endogenously determined. Section 5 analyzes the long-run equilibria of the dynamics of individuals’ human capital and religious activities. Section 6 offers the conclusion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper attempts to achieve two purposes by linking religion and education. First, it provides an alternative model of religious participation that adds to the economic literature of religion. Second, it complements the human capital models based on social interactions by analyzing a framework in which social capital, such as religion, affects children’s education, a la Coleman. Based on sociologists’ research as well as the existing economic literature, I build a model in which people’s religious participation are determined by the concern for their children’s human capital accumulation as well as their religious beliefs. Because religious capital is conducive to children’s education and moral development, a household’s religious participation not only increases its members’ utility from religious pursuit per se but also enhances the social capital for the creation of the children’s human capital. In other words, religion has a value of investment (in children’s human capital) as well as a value of consumption. In an overlapping generations framework, this model generates several interesting implications. It suggests that there is a close relationship between an individual’s education attainment and the level of her religious participation. Moreover, by assuming that parental human capital and social capital are substitutes in a child’s human capital formation, the model provides an explanation for an important stylized fact revealed by Sacerdote and Glaeser that in the United States, while religious attendance rises sharply with education across individuals, it declines sharply with education across denominations. Further, this paper analyzes the long-run equilibrium of individuals’ human capital and religious activities, which helps to explain why seemingly unproductive religions can be everlasting. In future research, the model can be extended in several ways. For example, for simplicity, this model assumes that parents obtain utility only from children’s human capital and future income. If we add that parents (particularly at old age) also obtain utility from the “services” from children, as emphasized by Bernheim et al. (1985), then people would have more motivation to provide their children with religious education because many religions emphasize that children should always honor and revere their parents. Also, this paper can be extended to study endogenous social interactions among different households in the context of endogenous religious/cultural participation.