In a recent paper abstracted here, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber suggests:
that religious attendance increases the number of social interactions in a way peculiar to religious settings;
that religious institutions provide financial and emotional "insurance" that help people mitigate their losses when setbacks occur;
that attendance at religious schools may be an advantage; and, finally,
that religious faith may simply improve well-being directly by enabling the faithful to be "less stressed out" by the problems of every day life.
(Extra paragraphing added.)
Hat tip: TaxProfBlog via TitusOneNine.
Somebody please, please see that Gruber or Gorman - whichever is responsible - gets a hefty bonus for noting that going to church increases the number of social interactions peculiar to a church. In a culture where "research" was aptly described by Mary Daly as "the constant rediscovery of the screechingly obvious," this line alone must, simply must, warrant some Economic Research Oscar, Emmy, whatever.
Next, I'll be reading that those who go to a whorehouse have more of the social interactions peculiar to a whorehouse.
How brighter my day is to learn that, when I returned to church, my happiness soared as it would had I moved from refrigerator box to mansion, from shoeless to chauffeured limo. Now if I only had the money!
Ho hum. Maybe there's something there; but for now I think I'll self-administer one large grain of salt.
Posted by: BobW | October 27, 2005 at 09:34 PM