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A Model of Religious Investment to Explain the Success of Megachurches

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Author Info

  • Marc von der Ruhr

    ()
    (Department of Economics, St. Norbert College)

  • Joseph Daniels

    ()
    (Center for Global and Economic Studies, Marquette University)

Abstract

Despite their non-traditional approach, megachurches have grown significantly in the United States since 1980. This paper constructs a model of religious investment to examine how “seeker”-oriented megachurches succeed in attracting and retaining new members. The model illustrates that megachurches have been able to encourage additional religious investment through group-based activities. Hence, these activities may be viewed as a subsidy for religious investment. As a result, individuals associated with megachurches increase their religious investment relative to individuals associated with non-megachurches. Data from the FACT2000 survey provide evidence that megachurches employ groups to help subsidize individuals’ religious investment, and that the resulting religious capital rises among members of megachurches relative to members of non-megachurches.

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File URL: http://www.busadm.mu.edu/mrq/workingpapers/wpaper0806.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics in its series Working Papers and Research with number 0806.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrq:wpaper:0806

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Keywords: Megachurches; Religious Investment; Subsidy;

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