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Auriol, Emmanuelle

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Schirle, Tammy / de Vries, Frans / Zulehner, Christine

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Volume 15, Issue 4


Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Are You There God? It’s Me, a College Student: Religious Beliefs and Higher Education

P. Wesley Routon / Jay K. Walker
  • Corresponding author
  • Economics and Finance, Niagara University, Bisgrove Hall, Room 254J, PO Box 2201, Lewiston, NY 14109, USA
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Published Online: 2015-05-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2015-0024


Drawing data from a longitudinal survey of college students from 514 institutions of higher education, we add to the discussion on the education–religion puzzle by providing information on specifically which college students experience the most religiosity change, investigating multiple change measures (conviction strength, service attendance, and religious identity), and estimating which programs of study and collegiate experiences cause the most change. We also provide an analysis of students who seek or initially sought an occupation within the clergy. Among our findings, 56% of students report changes in the strength of their religious convictions during college, while 45% report changes in religious service attendance frequency. Of those who matriculate as religious, about 9% lose their religion by graduation. Of those who matriculate with no religious identity, an impressive 33% graduate with one. Choice of institution, major of study, academic success, and many other collegiate experiences are shown to be determinants of these changes.

Keywords: higher education; religion; college; religiosity; clergy


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-05-30

Published in Print: 2015-10-01

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 15, Issue 4, Pages 2111–2137, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2015-0024.

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