Abstract

In this paper we study the role of religiosity and individual liberties in influencing the choice of labor effort. To a standard model with consumption and effort, we add a third (public) good: civil liberties with a cap established by law. We assume that the higher the degree of religiosity of an individual the less he likes liberties, such as divorce, abortion, gender parity, or gay marriage. With standard assumptions on individual preferences, our model implies that individual labor supply is decreasing in the level of personal religiosity and that this negative relationship is enhanced by the width of liberties. We show empirically that this holds and that the size of the effect is large. Specifically, we construct an index of civil liberties and find solid evidence in support of the joint effect of religiosity and liberties on labor effort.