The power of religion

Journal of Economic Growth Vol/Iss. Online only Springer Published In Pages: 1-34
By Bentzen, Jeanet Sinding , Gokmen, Gunes


Moralizing high gods are more prevalent in stratified societies than unstratified societies.


This hypothesis seeks to test the theory that moralizing high gods are beneficial in stratified societies as they help legitimize power. The authors double-check their conclusion with a robust series of controls to support the relationship between stratification and moralizing high gods.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Ordinary Least SquaresSupportedp<.1 to p<.01 with a range of controls.14UNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
StratificationIndependentSocial Stratification
Presence of Moralizing High GodsDependentSpirits And Gods