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Sun, Feb 01, 2004 - Page 12 News List

Religion linked to economic growth

Researchers claim that a belief in hell encourages individual traits such as honesty, a work ethic, thrift and openness to strangers

By Felicia Lee  /  NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , NEW YORK

"This is a revised view of the Protestant ethic," he continued. He noted that many mostly Protestant, wealthy countries were now more interested in quality of life, and that many Eastern countries were now more focused on economic growth -- with some populations even converting, as Barro noted, to Christianity and specifically to Protestantism.

"Confucian countries are now the most Protestant countries on earth, in terms of a moral imperative to work hard, save money, to do well," Inglehart said.

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