From Jessica Shiwen Cheng and Fernando Lozano:
What is the role of religious institutions and religious workers in the racial earnings gap in the United States? In this paper we explore the relationship between childhood exposure to religious density, as measured with the number of religious workers at the state level, and the labor market outcomes of the worker thirty years later. We use data that spans over fifty years to identify changes in earnings due to early exposure to religion: our first source of identification uses changes in these two variables within states, and our second source of identification uses states’ differences by following workers who moved to a different state. Our results suggest that living in a state with a an extra clergy member for each 1,000 habitants increases the earnings of black workers by 1.7 to 3.6 percentage points relative to white workers.. In addition we show that this relationship is robust to different measures of exposure to religious density, and that these estimates increase to 7.6 percentage points when the change on religious density is defined exclusively increasing an extra black religious workers for each 1,000 habitants. Finally, we estimate a series of robustness tests that suggest that these results are not due to spatial sorting across states, nor to secular time trends associated with changes in labor market outcomes for black American workers.
You can find a copy of the paper if you dig through this link to the AEA program, look under Jan 03, 2016 12:30 pm, Hilton Union Square, Powell A & B, National Economic Association/American Society of Hispanic Economist. The title of the paper is”Racial/Ethnic Differences in Self-Identification and Income Inequality,” but do any of you know a better, more direct link?
As I see things, to overgeneralize perhaps rather grossly, Democratic economists are more concerned with social and intellectual status, often in good ways, than are many conservatives. The former group therefore is led to violate strictures of science through the omission of inconvenient truths, rather than through outright denialism or simply “making things up.” The benefits of religion, including sometimes extreme religion, are one example of that. On the Left, redistribution is a popular remedy for poverty, religion much less so.