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Competition and the Strategic Choices of Churches


  • Adam D. Rennhoff
  • Mark F. Owens


We examine how the decisions of churches are impacted by the decisions of rival churches. Using a novel dataset, we estimate a model of strategic interaction, which accounts for the location and denomination of churches. We focus on a church's decision of whether to provide a weekday child care program. Empirical evidence indicates that churches compete more strongly with same-denomination churches than with different-denomination churches. These effects diminish with distance. (JEL J13, L31, Z12)

Suggested Citation

  • Adam D. Rennhoff & Mark F. Owens, 2012. "Competition and the Strategic Choices of Churches," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 152-170, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:152-70 Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.3.152

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Andrew Cohen & Beth Freeborn & Brian McManus, 2013. "Competition And Crowding Out In The Market For Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(1), pages 159-184, February.
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    13. Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2008. "The Church Versus the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 831-862.
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    Cited by:

    1. Filistrucchi, L. & Prüfer, J., 2013. "Faithful Strategies : How Religion Shapes Nonprofit Management," Discussion Paper 2013-052, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Federico Ciliberto & Ina C. Jäkel, 2017. "Exporter Price Premia?," Economics Working Papers 2017-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    3. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00594 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Owens, Mark F. & Rennhoff, Adam D., 2014. "Provision and price of child care services: For-profits and nonprofits," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 40-51.
    5. Victor Aguirregabiria & Margaret Slade, 2017. "Empirical Models of Firms and Industries," Working Papers tecipa-580, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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    1. Competition and the Strategic Choices of Churches (AEJ:MI 2012) in ReplicationWiki


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