Quotation Prettner, Klaus, Strulik, Holger. 2017. It's a Sin - Contraceptive Use, Religious Beliefs, and Long-Run Economic Development. Review of Development Economics. 21 553-566.




This study presents a novel theory on the interaction of social norms, fertility, education, and their joint impact on long‐run economic development. The theory takes into account that sexual intercourse is utility enhancing and that the use of modern contraceptives potentially conflicts with prevailing social norms (religious beliefs). The theory motivates the existence of two steady states. At the traditional steady state, the economy stagnates, fertility is high, education is minimal, and the population sustains a norm according to which modern contraceptives are not used. At the modern steady state, the population has abandoned traditional beliefs, modern contraceptives are used, fertility is low and education and economic growth are high. Social dynamics explain why both equilibria are separated by a saddlepoint‐equilibrium (a separatrix), i.e. why it is so hard to transit from the traditional regime to the modern regime.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Review of Development Economics
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new VW-D
Language English
Title It's a Sin - Contraceptive Use, Religious Beliefs, and Long-Run Economic Development
Volume 21
Year 2017
Page from 553
Page to 566
Reviewed? Y
URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/rode.12280
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/rode.12280
Open Access N


Prettner, Klaus (Details)
Strulik, Holger (University of Göttingen, Germany)
Department of Economics (Crespo Cuaresma) (Details)
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