The Invisible Hand Plays Dice: Eventualities in Religious Markets
AbstractReligious participation is much more widespread in the United States than in Europe, while Europeans tend to view sects more suspiciously than Americans. We propose an explanation for these patterns without assuming differences in preferences or market fundamentals. Religious markets may have multiple equilibria, suggesting that observed differences in religious structures may merely be eventualities. Further, equilibria with more sects result in higher welfare and lower membership costs, as secular societies tend to host on average more demanding sects. Our main methodological contribution to the theory of religious markets is endogenizing simultaneously supply and demand of spiritual services.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1238.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
sects; religion; tithes; religious markets;
Other versions of this item:
- Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2004. "The Invisible Hand Plays Dice: Eventualities in Religious Markets," Others 0406005, EconWPA.
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- L89 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Other
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-08-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2004-08-02 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-MIC-2004-08-02 (Microeconomics)
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