What makes economies grow? It’s a question that has occupied thinkers for centuries. Most of us would tick off things like education levels, openness to trade, natural resources, and political systems. Here’s one you might not have considered: hell. A pair of Harvard researchers recently examined 40 years of data from dozens of countries, trying to sort out the economic impact of religious beliefs or practices. They found that religion has a measurable effect on developing economies – and the most powerful influence relates to how strongly people believe in hell.
more from Michael Fitzgerald at The Boston Globe here.