Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the role of religion in human capital investments and the family in the United States, based on analyses of microlevel data. The economic perspective views an individual's religious affiliation as affecting economic and demographic behavior because the norms and teachings of various faiths influence the perceived benefits and costs of numerous decisions that people make over the life cycle, including choices regarding the pursuit of investments in secular human capital, cohabitation, marriage, divorce, family size, and employment. These decisions are closely interrelated, so when religious teachings directly influence any one of them, all others are indirectly affected. Consistent with existing structures of perceived benefits and costs, several religious groups in the United States exhibit patterns of economic and demographic behavior that differ significantly from those of mainline Protestants. A higher level of religious participation can affect economic and demographic behavior by accentuating the effects of affiliation. The article also examines patterns of non-marital sex and divorce among conservative Protestants and discusses the role of religion in the second demographic transition in the United States.

Keywords: religion, human capital, investments, family, United States, Protestants, divorce, non-marital sex, second demographic transition, religious affiliation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.