is a single market-based economy under the

is there an effect of religion on Subject well-being?

1) religious organizations (churches) may increase SWB by providing like-minded persons with access to social networks.

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2) To believe in God may be positively linked to SWB.

This study examines the importance of social networks in German society.The difference between religion and life satisfaction West and East Germany can be justi?ed:

1)before the fall of the Berlin    Wall, two neighboring German populations with common history and language were residing under different economic and political conditions.2)in a short period of time, West Germany and East Germany were integrated into a single market-based economy under the democratic law, with East Germany converting from socialism to capitalism

3) the vast majority of non-religious people live in East Germany

4)after reuni?cation, differences in the beliefs about God in West and East Germany continue to persist.                                            Related literature

•The correlation between life satisfaction and religious participation is arbitrated by friendship networks which churchgoers build in their congregations (Lim and Putnam (2010).

•The churches afford people: (a) the opportunity to develop friendships and social networks; (b) a regular meeting place to participate in social exchange; and (c) the opportunity to appeal on these social networks in times of need (Durkheim (1951).

•Pollner (1989) has also put out a case that individuals may build a personal relationship with a divinity in an effort to secure spiritual direction and security. Additionally, collaboration with these divinities by way of individual prayer may also assist in improving an individual’s self-esteem.§According to 2011 of?cial statistics, the population of Germany was 81.1 million. Of this total, it is estimated that approximately 25 million Germans (31 %) are Roman Catholic Church while approximately 24 million Germans (30 %) are Protestant Church. Together, Catholics and Protestants accounted for just over 60 % of the total population. The third largest religious denomination in Germany is Islam, which accounts for approximately 5 % of the population (i.e., approximately 4 million Muslims). Finally, around 35 % of all Germans (79 % in East Germany) reported having no religious af?liation. (US Department of State 2012).

                                    Research Questions

§Is attendance at religious services positively linked with life satisfaction?;

§Does attendance at religious services have an independent effect on life satisfaction after checking for social networks (i.e., the number of close friends and frequency of social gatherings)? and

§In observing these relations are there any differences between West and East Germany?                                                           Data

§The data used in this study were derived from the G-SOEP (The German Socio-Economic Panel).

§focus on German participants aged 18 years and over from the 2003, 2007 and 2011.

§Life Satisfaction Measure: ”How satis?ed are you currently, all in all, with your life?”             scale ranging from 0 to 10 (0 means ‘completely dissatis?ed’ and 10 means ‘completely satis?ed’).

§Religiosity Measures: a) religious af?liation (Yes, NO)

                                               b) ) frequency of attendance at religious services

(1 = ”never”; 2 = ”less frequently”; 3 = ”every month”; and 4 = ”every week”.)

§Social Network Measures: a) How often do you attend social meetings with friends, families etc.? (1 = ”never”; 2 = ”less frequently”; 3 = ”every month”; and 4 = ”every week”)

      b) How many close friends do you have? (respondents were asked to specify the number of ‘close friends’ they had)§Control
Variables: age in years; sex (1 = male; 2 = female);
years of education; income (the log of annual gross income in Euros); marital
status (1 = married; 0 = otherwise); the number of children; self-reported
health status (a ?ve point scale ranging from 1 = ‘bad’ to 5 = ‘very good’);
unemployment status (1 = unemployed; 0 = employed); and the respondent stated
having a major negative life event in the current or previous year (1 = yes; 0
= no).

§In
addition, they also included the potential in?uence of regional differences (1
= the respondent resides in West Germany; 0 = the respondent resides in East
Germany).                                               Empirical
Approach

To
observe the correlation between life satisfaction and religion, they estimated
4 regression models, with life satisfaction as the dependent variable.

§Model
I: indicator variables for religious
af?liation to determine whether different religious
traditions may use differential impacts on life satisfaction.

§Model
II: all control variables to determine
whether these parts explain the relationship
between life satisfaction and religious af?liation

§Model
III: add attendance
at religious services to examine whether attendance is
positively related to life satisfaction.

§Model
IV: measures of social networks to define
whether the relationship between attendance and
life satisfaction is working through these social
networks.

regression
model:                      LS=?
+ ?1X +
?2R +
?3S +
?

LS
(life satisfaction); X
(control variables); R
is a vector of religious; ? (error term)

x

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