Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2015 Volume 11 :: Article 1
2015 Volume 11, Article 1
Are Religion and Environmentalism Complements or Substitutes?: A Club-Based Approach

Author: Feler Bose (Alma College) and Timothy M. Komarek (Old Dominion University)

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In this article, we analyze the causal link between membership in environmental groups and active participation and membership in religious groups. We use a club-based model and employ OLS and spatial econometrics with controls to test for whether membership and participation in a religious group is a substitute or complement for membership in environmental groups. Instrumental variables estimation was used as a robustness check. We found that religious participation and religious membership in evangelical groups are a substitute for environmental membership. Much of the work on environmental concerns has focused on answers to survey questions, not on membership. We used a dataset of environmental membership at the county level to perform our analysis. We further add quantitative evidence to the discussion by some researchers on the link between religion and environmentalism. In this respect, our work aims to investigate further the causal links between religion and environmentalism.

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