As an attempt to respond to this question a number of schools of thoughts came into existence and providing a number of factors responsible for the global economic activities. Initially the focus was on the material resources like land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship. With the advancements in studies, the focus shifted to scope of growth, literacy, infrastructural advancements and the human resource development to meet the challenges etc. Another recent development in this regards is the attention towards religion as the driving and blocking force for many economic activities on individual as well as global level. This paper is intended to analyse the nature of impact of the religion on the economic growth, economic policies and global economy. To achieve this purpose, the discussion ahead would be divided into two parts. The first part is dedicated to analyze what various theories and the researchers have to say about the issue. While, the second part of the discussion would be focused on some examples demonstration what is revealed out of the researchers and their theories.
First of all lets look at the theories forwarded by various researches regarding the influence of religion on the economic activities and economic growth. This subject area was not considered as a research area few decades ago. However, with the passage of time, people realize that the religion indirectly, if not directly, has an influence over the economic growth. Iannaccone (1998) is one of the most eminent modern researchers in the domain of the study of the relationship of economics and religion. In his elaborative survey, he has classified the study of the religion and economics into three broad categories. The first category is about the micro-foundation of participation of the religious foundations. The second deals with the economic implications of the religious participation. The third category investigates the religious teachings to critique economic policies. Throughout the discussion, the focus would be on the second category, which is the economic implication of the religious participation.
There is loads of literature on the economic implications of the religious affiliations. For example, Lowry (1998) asserts that since the religious affiliation plays a vital role in developing in his mind the image of an ideal society and thus, the society in which the people of a particular religion dwells, reflects the religious beliefs of the people of the society. For example, in a society where high value is given to honesty or trustworthiness tells that the religion prevailing in that society has given high value to the ethical values and thus, as the implication of such high emphasis on the ethical values, the business matters would also not go against the ethical premises of the religion prevailing in that society. One of its best examples is the business of wine in the typical Muslim countries as Pakistan, the use as well as trade of wine is strictly prohibited in Islam. The same value reflects from the Muslim society prevailing there and hence the idea of doing a wine business there is simply futile. So on the basis of these reasons; Lowry claims that the religious affiliation provides the basis of one's belief about the "good society". This belief is then reflected in the particular policies that affiliation adopts.
The same researcher, Lowry (1998) also argues that the strength of an individual's attachment, as a result, affects the degree of the policy convictions. There is an interesting finding of Lowry, he