The role of culture in economic activities and outcomes is a subject debated mainly in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and political science. Recently, more economists are applying economic theory to engender new models that incorporate various aspects of culture, including widespread beliefs, values, and attitudes. Adding cultural variables to economic models has the potential to develop a better understanding of consumer choices on a microeconomics level. In addition, beliefs, attitudes, and values have the potential to explain differences in economic policies, growth, and activities on an international level. This thesis contributes to existing economic literature by 1) constructing a utility function for work ethic that includes religious and demographic variables, and 2) utilizing an Ordinary Least Squares regression with data from the World Values Survey. Controlling for socioeconomic status, income, health, education level, urbanization level, gender, and religious participation across 13 countries, religious denomination is not significant in determining work ethic. However, with the addition of interaction terms between religious denominations and demographic variables, certain religions have a significantly higher or lower work ethic than Protestants. In addition, almost all demographic variables are significant predictors of work ethic.
Bachelor of Arts
Includes bibliographical references.