Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Islam and prosperity, part II - Marginal Revolution

Marginal Revolution follows up on an earlier post on Islam and growth; we followup on our earlier posting:

Some commentators have claimed that Islam is inimical to growth. In general this is not borne out by the econometric analysis either at the cross-country or within-country level. Predominately Muslim countries are seldom outliers (either positively or negatively) in the crosscountry regressions. In most cases, the coefficient on the Muslim population share is statistically insignificant. With one exception, where it is significant, it is always positive. The only case of a statistically significant negative coefficient is in the sub-national regression for Malaysia. Islam does not appear to be a drag on growth or an anchor on development as alleged. If anything, the opposite appears to be true. If one is concerned about economic performance in predominately Muslim regions or countries, conventional economic analysis may yield greater insight than the sociology of religion.
Source: Marcus Noland. Religion, Culture, and Economic Performance. Institute for International Economics. (pdf)

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