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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Believing in Hell Has Its Benefits

July 28, 2004
Economists searching for reasons why some nations are richer than others have found that those with a wide belief in hell are less corrupt and more prosperous, according to a report by the Federal Reserve (news - web sites) Bank of St. Louis.

Researchers at the regional Federal Reserve bank acknowledged the importance of productivity and investment in the economic process but looked at some recent unconventional efforts to explain differences in national prosperity.

The St Louis Fed drew on work by outside economists who studied 35 countries, including the United States, European nations, Japan, India and Turkey and found that religion shed some useful light.

"In countries where large percentages of the population believe in hell, there seems to be less corruption and a higher standard of living," the St. Louis Fed said in its July quarterly review.

For instance, 71 percent of the U.S. population believe in hell and the country boasts the world's highest per capita income, according to the 2003 United Nations (news - web sites) Human Development Report and 1990-1993 World Values Survey.

Ireland, not far behind the United States in terms of income, likewise has a healthy fear of a nether world with 53 percent of the population acknowledging hell's existence. FR Reprint.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is this news again? because those traditionally christian countries in Europe are more prosperous than the rest of the world? thanks for the update... Also, there are deeply fundamentalist christian populations in Africa, there is a muslim concept of hell, so what's the point here? Surely they're not trying to draw a causal connection from an unspecified correlation... that would be the height of spuriousness. Obviously some right-wing ideologue thought this was cute.

12:31 PM  

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