Department of economics

Jeanet Sinding Bentzen

Jeanet Sinding Bentzen

Associate Professor
Department of Economics
Monash University

Other affiliations:
CEPR Research Affiliate in Economic History and the Macroeconomics and Growth Programme
External Research Associate at CAGE, Warwick University

Executive Director of the Association of Economics, Religion, and Culture (ASREC)
Associate Editor at The Economic Journal

Email: Jeanet.Bentzen (at)
Google Scholar site
Research Gate profile
Twitter: @JeanetBentzen

Jeanet Bentzen's research focuses on economic approaches to decision-making and culture, and includes topics related to religion, institutions, economic growth, economic history, and geographic confounders. Most of her recent work is within the Economics of Religion field. Methodologically, she uses econometric techniques to test theories from psychology, sociology, theology, and anthropology empirically. Her methodology involves broad datasets spanning the globe, allowing testing of the generalizability and causality of the various theories.







  • Sep 2022: I will be relocating to Melbourne, Australia this month for one year, visiting Monash University. If you are in the area and want a chat, drop me a line (

  • Sep 2022: I had great fun chatting to Stephen Dubner og Freakonomics Radio, although our chat was so much longer than what ended on the show :-) (here).

  • Aug 2022: Honored to be the examinator on Tolga Benzer's amazing PhD dissertation (here).

  • Apr 2022: Looking much forward to visit Princeton University for the AALIMS Conference on the Political Economy of the Muslim World. Will present our paper on the power of religion (here).

  • Mar 2022: I really enjoyed my visit to CERGE-EI in Prague in these difficult times. Great institution in the most overwhelming building (the Schebek Palace).

  • Jan 2022: Our new research on religiosity, science, and economic growth is out as CEPR Discussion Paper (here).

  • Nov 2021: I gave a seminar at PEPES - combined seminar between Paris School of Economics and Sciences Po - on our new paper on religiosity and modern growth (here). Great feedback, great people. Great city!

  • Nov 2021: First in-person workshop in 2 years at Lund University - splendid to see you all.

  • Oct 2021: I gave my first post-corona physical seminar abroad at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Fantastic to engage with you all in person!

  • June 2021: I describe the literature on how religiosity impacts society in an Oxford Encyclopedia chapter this month (preprint here).

  • May 2021: Thrilled to have a first version of our "In the Name of God!" paper out. I love playing detective and sneaking into the minds of our great ancestors. Perhaps their names reveal how religious their parents were?

  • Dec 2020: I am so excited to have received the title of Sapere Aude Research Leader, which comes with funding for four years of research on the impact of religion on socioeconomic outcomes.

  • Nov 2020: Looking much forward to our ASREC24hours conference: Awesome papers from scholars across all timezones. Will be fantastic!

  • Oct 2020: Presented my new research "God Politics" at University of Notre Dame, Deakin University, and Groningen University (virtually).

  • Sep 2020: Presented my "God Politics" paper at Sydney University (virtually).

  • Aug 2020: Was interviewed by Vin Nelsen from the Multi Hazards Podcast, Vancouver. We had an exciting talk about the causes and consequences of religion.

  • June 2020: I wrote a new voxeu column called "Rising religiosity as a global response to COVID-19 fear".

  • May 2020: My "In Crisis We Pray" paper is now out in CEPRs COVID Economics series.

  • May 2020: Happy to announce our first virtual ASREC grad student workshops happening on May 13 and May 27. Join us!

  • Apr 2020: My "Power of Religion" paper with Gunes Gokmen is out as CEPR Discussion Paper!

  • Feb 2020: My "God Politics" paper with Lena Sperling is out as CEPR Discussion Paper.

  • Dec 2019: Excited that y'all voted for me as the new Executive Director of ASREC and looking forward to begin the work.

  • Oct 2019: Enjoyed my time at University of St. Andrews, where I presented my new work on "God Politics".

  • Sep 2019: Looking forward to the ASREC conference at Lund University, where I will present my new work on "God Politics".

  • Aug 2019: Looking forward to go to the EEA, where I will present my new work on "God Politics".

  • Aug 2019: My work on "Acts of God?" is now out in the Economic Journal after 7 years of hard work. Yeah!

  • June 2019: Excited to be invited for CAGE's 10th anniversary at Warwick University. I will present my new work on "God Politics".

  • June 2019: I had a blast at the CEPR Workshop on The Economics of Religion in Venice!

  • May 2019: Big congrats to my PhD student Lena Lindbjerg Sperling, who defended her thesis "Economic and Cultural Development"!

  • Apr 2019: Enjoyed visiting Tarragona, where I was invited to discuss a paper at the CEPR conference on International Macroeconomics (ESSIM).

  • Mar 2019: A pleasure to talk to various different people at University of Bologna and to receive comments for my talk about "Religion and Politics".

  • Mar 2019: Excited to be back from a wonderful ASREC 2019 conference in Boston. A true pleasure to see how this fabulous research community is growing in width and quality!

  • Jan 2019: Happy to be appointed CEPR Research Affiliate in the Macroeconomics and Growth Programme.

  • Jan 2019: Excited to be going to Sheffield University to present my work on Religion and Politics.

  • Dec 2018: Looking much forward to being on the organizing comittee for the Annual Congress of the EEA 2019 in Manchester.

  • Nov 2018: Happy to be chosen for the UCPH Talent Programme for Excellence in Research.

  • Nov 2018: Excited about being in the Ph.d. comittee of our excelent Ph.d. student Anne Sofie Beck Knudsen's defense.

  • Oct 2018: Honored to be presenting my Acts of God paper at the "The Economic History of Religion" conference at Northwestern University organized by Joel Mokyr.

  • Sep 2018: Looking much forward to give a seminar at Bocconi on my Acts of God paper.

  • Sep 2018: Thrilled that my Acts of God paper is now forthcoming in the Economic Journal!

  • Jul 2018: Excited about presenting in various great sessions at the WEHC 2018 in Boston.

  • Jun 2018: Looking forward to give a PhD course on "The causes and consequences of religion" in conjunction with the upcoming ASREC conference in Luxembourg.

  • May 2018: Happy to participate as opponent at Eivind Hammersmark's PhD defence at Oslo University - welldone, Eivind!

  • May 2018: Excited to present my work on earthquakes and religion at the evolution of religion conference in Erice, Sicily organized by Joseph Henrich, Ara Norenzayan, and Edward Slingerland. Indeed an inspiring conference!

  • Apr 2018: Very proud to be awarded "outstanding reviewer" status at the Journal of Development Economics.

  • Apr 2018: Happy to be giving a seminar at Groningen University.

  • Mar 2018: Happy to be invited as participant and discussant at the conferences "Cultural Transmission and the Economics of Cultural Change" and "Culture, Institutions, and Prosperity" at PSE organized by Alberto Bisin and Thierry Verdier.

  • Jan 2018: Honored to present my work at the "News from the research frontier" session at the yearly meeting of the Danish Economic Society (National√łkonomisk Forening).

  • Dec 2017: Thrilled to be appointed CEPR Research Affiliate in Economic History.

  • Dec 2017: My paper "Power and Persistence: Indigenous Roots of Representative Democracy" is now forthcoming at the Economic Journal (with Jacob Hariri and James A Robinson).

  • Oct 2017: Congratulations to my student Ammar Ljubijankic for receiving the prestigious McKinsey price for his thesis in my seminar!

  • Oct 2017: My paper "Pre-reformation Roots of the Protestant Ethic" available as voxeu article (among most read in October) and posted on LSE Business blog.

  • Aug 2017: Invited speaker at the Political Economy Workshop in Galatina

  • June 2017: Invited speaker at Groningen University

  • Apr 2017: I participated in a debate on Danish National television on the impact (or lack thereof) of the Protestant reformation on the Danish economy.

  • Jan 2017: My paper "Pre-Reformation Roots of the Protestant Ethic" published in the Economic Journal (with T Andersen, CJ Dalgaard, and P Sharp)

  • Feb 2017: I gave an invited seminar at Brown University

  • Feb 2017: My paper "Irrigation and Autocracy" published as lead article in JEEA (with N Kaarsen and A M Wingender)

  • Dec 2016: Invited speaker at Luxembourg University on "Acts of God"

  • Nov 2016: I gave an invited seminar at Bonn University on "Acts of God"

  • May 2016: Local organizer of the ASREC Europe conference 2016 with keynote speakers Oded Galor and Hans-Joachim Voth

  • May 2016: I gave an invited seminar at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t Munich on "The Power of Religion"

  • May 2016: Invited research stay at CAGE at Warwick University

  • Jan 2016: Presented my "Acts of God" paper at the AEA Annual Meeting in San Francisco

  • Nov 2015: I gave an invited seminar at New Economics School Moscow

  • Sep 2015: I gave an invited seminar at University of Bristol 

  • July 2015: Presented my "Acts of God" paper at the NBER Summer Institute

  • Mar 2015: Joined the board of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture (ASREC)

  • Oct 2014: I gave an invited seminar at Gothenburg University

  • May 2014: I gave an invited seminar at Zurich University

  • Sep 2013: I gave an invited seminar at Oslo University