7. Mormonism, and other relatively strict religions, can have big anti-poverty effects. I wouldn’t say I ever believed the contrary, but for a long time I simply didn’t give the question much attention. I now think that Mormonism has a better anti-poverty agenda than does the Progressive Left.
So, in the broadest sense, what does religion cause? How do various religions differ in the nature and magnitudes of their effects? Do religions consistently cause different things in different regions, as they interact differently with regional cultures? There are a lot of studies with “religiosity” as a variable. What happens when you disaggregate by religion?Patrick Collison
Hypothetical for you: would a massive conversion of low-income people to Mormonism reduce poverty? A viable policy no, but a viable solution yes. Tyler Cowen
People with religious beliefs, and associated behavior, consistently tend to have better lives. It seems that religious folks tend to be happier, live longer, smoke less, exercise more, earn more, get and stay married more, commit less crime, use less illegal drugs, have more social connections, donate and volunteer more, and have more kids. Yes, the correlation between religion and these good things is in part because good people tend to become more religious, but it is probably also in part because religions people tend to become better. So if you want to become good in these ways, an obvious strategy is to become more religious, which is helped by having more religious beliefs.Robin Hanson