Thursday, March 20, 2008

Church Makes You Happy

Dave Walkers new blog has this story, here's a quote from the Beeb report

A belief in God could lead to a more contented life, research suggests.
Religious people are better able to cope with shocks such as losing a job or divorce, claims the study presented to a Royal Economic Society conference.

The abstract of the paper given to the conference by Prof Andrew Clark says:

This paper focusses on the insurance role of religion in buffering the well‐being impact of stressful life events, and the ensuing economic and social implications. Using two large‐scale European data sets, we show that the religious enjoy higher levels of life satisfaction, and that religion does insure against some adverse life events. All denominations suffer less psychological harm from unemployment than do the non‐religious; equally both Catholics and Protestants are less hurt by marital separation.

However, while Protestants are protected against divorce, Catholics are punished for it. These results do not seem to come about from the endogeneity of religion. These patterns in subjective well‐being correspond to data on both attitudes (the religious are both anti‐divorce and antijob creation for the unemployed) and behaviour (the religious unemployed are less likely to be actively looking for work). The full text will be available from the RES conference website some time soon.

or just look at this cartoon:

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