Jeanet Bentzen

Jeanet Bentzen
University of Copenhagen · Department of Economics

PhD

About

24
Publications
15,559
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693
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2014 - present
University of Copenhagen
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Full-text available
This paper studies to what extent religion has been used to legitimize political power throughout the world and how this matters for current institutions. Historically, some rulers have used religion to legitimize their power, while others relied on more democratic means. This tendency, termed divine legitimization, incentivized rulers to embed rel...
Article
In times of crisis, humans have a tendency to turn to religion for comfort and explanation. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Using daily and weekly data on Google searches for 107 countries, this research demonstrates that the COVID-19 crisis resulted in a massive rise in the intensity of prayer. During the early months of the pandemic,...
Preprint
Full-text available
In times of crisis, humans have a tendency to turn to religion for comfort and explanation. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Using daily data on Google searches for 95 countries, this research demonstrates that the COVID-19 crisis has increased Google searches for prayer (relative to all Google searches) to the highest level ever recorde...
Chapter
Full-text available
The world of today sees vast differences in religiosity. The most religious countries are Algeria and Pakistan, where 100% of the population believe in God.
Article
Full-text available
Religious beliefs potentially influence individual behavior. But why are some societies more religious than others? One possible answer is religious coping: Individuals turn to religion to deal with unbearable and unpredictable life events. To investigate whether coping can explain global differences in religiosity, I combine a global dataset on in...
Article
Full-text available
This paper documents that indigenous democratic practices are associated with contemporary representative democracy. The basic association is conditioned on the relative strength of the indigenous groups within a country; stronger groups were able to shape national regime trajectories, weaker groups were not. Our analyses suggest that institutions...
Article
Full-text available
Irrigated agriculture makes societies more likely to be ruled by authoritarian regimes. Ancient societies have long been thought to follow this pattern. We empirically show that irrigation affects political regimes even in the present. To avoid endogeneity, we use geographical and climatic variation to identify irrigation dependent societies. We fi...
Article
Full-text available
We hypothesize that cultural appreciation of hard work and thrift, the Protestant ethic according to Max Weber, had a pre-Reformation origin: the Catholic Order of Cistercians. In support, we document an impact from the Order on growth within the epicenter of the industrial revolution; English counties that were more exposed to Cistercian monasteri...
Research
Full-text available
This research documents that earthquakes increase religiosity across the globe.
Article
Full-text available
Religiosity affects everything from fertility and health to labor force participation and productivity. But why are some societies more religious than others? To answer this question, I rely on the religious coping theory, which states that many individuals draw on their religious beliefs to understand and deal with adverse life events. Combining s...
Article
Full-text available
Across 800 regions of the World, this research shows that people are more religious when living in regions that are more frequently razed by natural disasters. This is in line with psychological theory stressing that religious people tend to cope with adverse life events by seeking comfort in their religion or searching for a reason for the event;...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a measure of the timing of industrialization, comparable across 149 countries. Defining the year of industrial transition as the year in which employment in industry exceeded that in agriculture, we identify 67 countries that industrialized between 1801 and 2005 and 82 countries that had not yet industrialized by 2005. We cross validate...
Article
Full-text available
We show that societies with a history of irrigation-based agriculture have been less likely to adopt democracy than societies with a history of rainfed agriculture. Rather than actual irrigation, the empirical analysis is based on how much irrigation potentially can increase yields. Irrigation potential is derived from a range of exogenous geograph...
Article
Full-text available
Most people today would argue that corruption is bad for countries' economic development. Yet, we still lack a reliable empirical estimate of the effect. This study addresses the econometric shortcomings of the literature and provides an estimate of the causal impact of corruption on gross domestic product per capita across countries. Certain dimen...
Article
Full-text available
We test the hypothesis that the Internet is a useful technology for controlling corruption. In order to do so, we develop a novel identification strategy for Internet diffusion. Power disruptions damage digital equipment, which increases the user cost of IT capital, and thus lowers the speed of Internet diffusion. A natural phenomenon causing power...
Article
Full-text available
We advance the hypothesis that cultural values such as high work ethic and thrift, “the Protestant ethic” according to MaxWeber, may have been diffused long before the Reformation, thereby importantly affecting the pre-industrial growth record. The source of pre-Reformation Protestant ethic, according to the proposed theory, was the Catholic Order...
Article
Full-text available
Empirically, a higher frequency of lightning strikes is associated with slower growth in labor productivity across the 48 contiguous US states after 1990; before 1990 there is no correlation between growth and lightning. Other climate variables (e.g., temperature, rainfall and tornadoes) do not conform to this pattern. A viable explanation is that...
Article
Full-text available
To examine the impact of Internet use on corruption we develop a novel identi…cation strategy for Internet di¤usion. Power disruptions damage digital equipment. This increases the user cost of IT capital, which in turn lowers the speed of Internet di¤usion. A natural phenomenon causing power disruptions is lightning activity. Using global satellite...
Article
This paper uses two industrial firm surveys to identify the key determinants of credit demand in Mozambican manufacturing. We construct five different measures of being credit constrained and estimate desired debt demand. Besides firm size and ownership structure, we find evidence that general manager education and business association membership a...
Article
Full-text available
We hypothesize that the spread of the Internet has reduced corruption, chiefly through two mechanisms. First, the Internet facilitates the dissemination of information about corrupt behavior, which raises the detection risks to shady bureaucrats and politicians. Second, the Internet has reduced the interface between bureaucrats and the public. Usin...
Article
The study by Rama and Sa (2005) focuses on identifying similarities between the findings of the CGE studies. The present study attempts, instead, to focus on differences. Do studies really differ that much? This overall question is addressed by providing a detailed review of assumptions, data, methodology, and results of the CGE models. This overvi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines Vietnam’s experience with bilateral trade agreements and compares subsequent outcomes with predictions from existing computable general equilibrium (CGE) models. Those model based assessments have greatly underestimated the impact of past agreements. Tariff reform is not the main factor driving economic adjustments, and market i...

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