The Economics of Religion in India

This talk on the economics of religion in India is based on research conducted in India for over a decade. The talk asks why we need an economics of religion for India and discusses contemporary attitudes towards religion in the country. It will discuss how religion relates to growing inequality in India, changes in demography, socio-economic status and religious competition. The talk will present original research findings from a survey of 600 Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain and Sikh religious organisations across 7 Indian states with respect to their religious and non-religious service provision such as health and education. The talk will also touch briefly on religious education, and the issues around introducing subjects such as mathematics, science and computers into a traditional religious curriculum. Ultimately, the talk presents an economic analysis of religion that hopes to inform social policy in countries such as India that have religiously-pluralistic populations.