THE WEBERIAN DETERMINANTS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Given that, on the one hand, the mainstream economics avoids, intentionally or not, the integration of cultural factors and, in particular, of the religious ones in the complex models, and secondly, there is a lively and ongoing dispute regarding the influence of their effects on economic behaviour, the work done can help to improve how these dilemmas are perceived on the theoretic/practice level.
To study the determinants of the religious influence on economic development, we analyzed data from a research survey conducted by the region of Moldova. Questionnaire-based survey was conducted during 2010 on a sample of 359 respondents meeting the population structure by religion, according to 2002 census (major population is Orthodox; also, Catholicism, Protestantism and Neo-protestantism are in minority).
The religious factors (or the Weberian ones) of economic development are analyzed as: the sense of responsibility, perseverance/determination, thrift, religious faith, submission/obedience, tolerance and respect for neighbours, trust and generosity/altruism. Subjects were given an intensity score of each factor that may influence economic development on a scale from 1 (unimportant) to 10 (very important). To define the profile of respondents were recording the following variables: gender, age, marital status, place of residence, religious denomination, education and training, occupation, monthly income received.
To identify the major religious determinants of economic development, we applied the ACP (Principal Components Analysis), a method of multidimensional statistical analysis. To identify the interfaith differences in economic performance, expressed in terms of individuals’ incomes, we applied a regression model with dummy variables (ANOVA type model).
The analysis of the importance of the Weberian factors of wealth creation has led to the ranking factors’ influence. In this purpose, we used the Pareto diagram, constructed on the total sample, based on summing the scores of importance given to each analysed factor.
Based on principal components analysis, we summarize the determinant factors of economic development (material progress) in two main factors: conscientiousness (responsibility, perseverance, determination) and openness (generosity, tolerance, respect, religion, etc.).
The profile of respondents, by religious denominations, depending on the determinants of wealth is defined by multi-factorial analysis of correspondences (MAC). The spreading of factor importance scores, analyzed by the factorial map, allows us to identify the correlations between these eight factors and the identified two axes: the spiritual/religious dimension and the mundane/material sphere.
Testing the hypothesis that differences exist between the incomes of the individuals belonging to diverse religious confessions carried out using the ANOVA method, in which individuals consider income as dependent variable and type of religion as a mitigating factor. From the obtained results, we can assume that there are significant differences between the individuals’ income and their associated religion.
The obtained results allow us to consider the protestant's superior economic performance, highlighted for comparison with other religious denominations, manifested in terms of revenue analysis. The given importance to religious factors differentiates between religious denominations.