|Volume 8 (2006/2007), ISSUE 13 (YEARLY)
SOCIAL CAPITAL AS A LINK BETWEEN RELIGION AND ECONOMY
Examining the effect of religious beliefs on the economic life may give precious insights into issues like the rate of the economic development, the different types of corporate leadership, or the determinants of consumer taste. Religious environments, the author argues, promote shared values in a way that gives rise to distinct types of social ties, bringing about specific consequences for entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and consumer spending. Three cases inform the argument. First, the activity of informal lending groups with Islamic origins leads to surprising levels of entrepreneurship in Indonesia. Second, a Buddhist charity organization headed by a charismatic nun in Taiwan generates hundreds million dollar worth donations. Third, the social networks found in a national women’s prayer group based in the United States explain motivations underlying consumption patterns.
Social Capital - Religion - Economic Development
Becky HSU is a doctoral candidate at the Sociology Department of Princeton University. She has published articles and given conference papers on social capital, religion, social services and care giving, trust, and law-abidingness. She is currently writing her dissertation, which focuses on the effect of religion on economic development.
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