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Religious Organizations

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  • Gilat Levy

    (LSE)

  • Ronny Razin

    (LSE)

Abstract

We propose a model of religious organizations which relies on the ability of such organi-zations and personal utility shocks. We show how religious organizations arise endogenously and characterize their features. Specifically, we find that members of the religious organization share similar beliefs and are more likely to cooperate with one another in social interactions. We identify a "spiritual" as well as a "material" payoff for members of the religious organization. Our results explain and shed light on empirical phenomena such as the effects of secularization and economic development on religious beliefs and participation, the relation between the size of the religion and the intensity of its members’ beliefs, religious segregation and religious conflicts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.53.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.53

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Keywords: Economics of Religion; Religion; Organizations; Beliefs;

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  1. Scheve, Kenneth & Stasavage, David, 2006. "Religion and Preferences for Social Insurance," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 255-286, July.
  2. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  3. Guido Tabellini, 2007. "The Scope of Cooperation: values and incentives," Working Papers 328, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 4952, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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