State and religion
AbstractState and religion have historically had an uneasy relationship, at times being close allies, at others harsh adversaries, and at still others largely independent. This paper develops an economic model of this relationship, where the state's objective is to maximize net tax revenue. Religious goods benefit the state in two ways: first, they provide utility to citizens, thus allowing the state to extract more taxes before running up against citizens' reservation utility (the point at which they would revolt), and second, they potentially provide legitimacy to the state, thereby lowering the costs of tax collection. If the latter effect is strong enough, the state may find it optimal to take control of religion, either to enhance its legitimizing effect, or to suppress its de-legitimizing effect. Greater competition in the religion market and democratic polity make it less likely for the state to control religion. To evaluate the model's implications, we use recent cross-country data on the relationship between religion and state, including variables from the "Religion and State Project" and measures coded from the 2001, 2003, and 2005 International Religious Freedom reports. We also examine in more detail some of the paradigmatic cases indicated by the model, presenting various types of evidence from current and historical examples of each case.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.
Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864
State Religion Church Legitimacy Loyalty Market concentration Democracy Power;
Other versions of this item:
- Metin Cosgel & Thomas Miceli, 2008. "State and Religion," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2008-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2009.
- H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
- P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
- N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980.
"The Power to Tax,"
Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293.
- Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2004.
"Which Countries Have State Religions?,"
NBER Working Papers
10438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
- Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
- Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
- Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2013.
"Legal centralization and the birth of the secular state,"
Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier,
Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 959-978.
- Johnson, Noel D & Koyama, Mark, 2012. "Legal Centralization and the Birth of the Secular State," MPRA Paper 40887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Metin M. Cosgel & Thomas J. Miceli & Jared Rubin, 2010.
"The Political Economy of Mass Printing: Legitimacy and Technological Change in the Ottoman Empire,"
Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics
2010-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2012.
- Coşgel, Metin M. & Miceli, Thomas J. & Rubin, Jared, 2012. "The political economy of mass printing: Legitimacy and technological change in the Ottoman Empire," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 357-371.
- Metin M. Cosgel & Thomas J. Miceli & Jared Rubin, 2009. "Guns and Books: Legitimacy, Revolt and Technological Change in the Ottoman Empire," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2009-12, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- Metin Cosgel & Rasha Ahmed & Thomas Miceli, 2008.
"Law, State Power, and Taxation in Islamic History,"
Papers on Economics of Religion, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada.
08/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
- Cosgel, Metin & Miceli, Thomas & Ahmed, Rasha, 2009. "Law, state power, and taxation in Islamic history," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 704-717, September.
- Metin Cosgel & Rasha Ahmed & Thomas Miceli, 2007. "Law, State Power, and Taxation in Islamic History," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2007-01, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.