Why Churches Need Free-riders: Religious Capital Formation and Religious Group Survival
AbstractAccording to existing theory, religion thrives when groups overcome the free-rider problem in the production of religious goods. This paper explains, however, that allowing some free-riding is necessary in a dynamic setting. If an individual only contributes when she has high religious capital, and if capital only forms after exposure to the religious good, then a church must allow her to temporarily free-ride in order to turn her into a future contributor. Free-riders comprise a risky but necessary investment by the church. Strict churches screen out riskier investments yet still allow some free-riding. This explanation yields predictions consistent with the empirical evidence.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 060722.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Religion; Free-riding; Religious capital;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
- L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Leonardo Becchetti & Sara Savastano, 2009.
"The money-happiness relationship in transition countries: evidence from Albania,"
Econometica Working Papers
- Leonardo Becchetti, 2010. "The Money–Happiness Relationship in Transition Countries: Evidence from Albania," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 39-62, May.
- Mark Koyama & Jean-Paul Carvalho, .
"Development and Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism,"
11/11, Department of Economics, University of York.
- Jean-Paul Carvalho & Mark Koyama, 2011. "Development and� Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism," Economics Series Working Papers 560, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Daniel M. Hungerman, 2011. "Do Religious Proscriptions Matter? Evidence from a Theory-Based Test," NBER Working Papers 17375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Binzel, Christine & Carvalho, Jean-Paul, 2013. "Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: A Theory of the Islamic Revival in Egypt," IZA Discussion Papers 7259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jennifer dos Santos).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.