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Conservative Protestants and Wealth: How Religion Perpetuates Asset Poverty1

Duke University

The association between cultural orientation and material outcomes is fundamental to sociology research. This article contributes to the understanding of this relationship by exploring how religious affiliation affects wealth ownership for conservative Protestants (CPs). The results demonstrate that religion affects wealth indirectly through educational attainment, fertility, and female labor force participation. The results also provide evidence of a direct effect of religion on wealth. Low rates of asset accumulation and unique economic values combine to reduce CP wealth beyond the effects of demographics. The findings improve understanding of the relationship between religious beliefs and inequality.