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The Invisible Hand Plays Dice: Eventualities in Religious Markets

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  • Panu Poutvaara

    (Centre for Economic & Business Research, CESifo & IZA)

  • Andreas Wagener

    (Department of Economics, University of Vienna, CEBR & CESifo)

Abstract

Religious 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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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/othr/papers/0406/0406005.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Others with number 0406005.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0406005

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 19
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: Sects; religion; tithes; religious markets; occupational choice;

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  1. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
  2. Pedro Pita Barros & Nuno Garoupa, 2002. "An Economic Theory Of Church Strictness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 559-576, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Eli Berman, 2003. "Hamas, Taliban and the Jewish Underground: An Economist's View of Radical Religious Militias," NBER Working Papers 10004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Wilson, Charles A, 1979. "Equilibrium and Adverse Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 313-17, May.
  6. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, And Sacrifice: An Economist'S View Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953, August.
  7. Esther Gal-Or, 1983. "Quality and Quantity Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 590-600, Autumn.
  8. Colin Rose, 1993. "Equilibrium and Adverse Selection," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 559-569, Winter.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  10. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Helton Saulo & Jeremias Leao, 2011. "Equilibrium, Adverse Selection, and Statistical Distributions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2066-2074.

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