Religion & Wealth

There is a growing literature that shows that a person’s approach to the world – their cultural orientation – is associated with their finances. The things we consider important and our operating assumptions about how the world does work and how it should work affect the goals we pursue, our decisions about critical life events, and, ultimately, how well-off we are. In the U.S., because religion is an important part of cultural orientation, it follows that religious beliefs should affect material well-being. The relationship between religion and wealth is difficult to pin down, but the papers here explore that association.

Religion and Inequality in America by Lisa Keister

Lisa A. Keister and Darren E. Sherkat, editors. 2014. Religion and Inequality. Cambridge University Press.

Religion Work and Inequality by Lisa KeisterLisa A. Keister, John McCarthy, and Roger Finke, editors. 2012. Religion, Work, and Money. Research in the Sociology of Work.

Faith and Money by Lisa Keister

Lisa A. Keister. 2011. Faith and Money: How Religious Belief Contributes to Wealth and Poverty. Cambridge University Press.

UPWARD WEALTH MOBILITY

Non-Hispanic whites raised in Roman Catholic families have been upwardly mobile in the wealth distribution in recent decades. This work explores why.

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RELIGION AND ATTAINMENT

Religion and attainment are clearly linked. This paper provides a synthetic model that includes religion as both a background and a mediating component to explain its relationship with outcomes like income and…

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RELIGION AND INEQUALITY: THE ROLE OF STATUS ATTAINMENT AND SOCIAL BALANCE PROCESSES

The relationship between religion and inequality is inherently multilevel. This paper draws on attainment ideas to develop a micro-model and ideas from social balance theory to aggregate the model’s outcomes. The…

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RELIGION & WEALTH

Religious affiliation is strongly associated with wealth ownership. The connection appears to reflect demographic and family patterns as well as religious-based orientations toward saving and money.

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CONSERVATIVE PROTESTANT WEALTH

Conservative Protestants tend to have low wealth. Family structures, educational attainment, and orientations toward money all contribute.

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