IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

An Economic Theory Of Church Strictness

  • Pedro Pita Barros

    (Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Centre for Economic Policy Research)

  • Nuno Garoupa

    (Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Centre for Economic Policy Research)

This paper introduces spatial--location models into the economics of religion. We offer a new explanation for the observed tendency of state (monopoly) churches to locate toward the "low--tension" end of the "strictness continuum"; obtained through the conjunction of "benevolent preferences" (denominations care about the aggregate utility of members) and asymmetric costs of going to a more or less strict church than one prefers. We derive implications regarding the relationship between religious strictness and membership. Religious market interactions and asymmetric costs of membership, highlight new explanations for some well--established stylised facts, opening the way to new empirical comparisons with more traditional explanations. Copyright 2002 Royal Economic Society

If 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.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 112 (2002)
Issue (Month): 481 (July)
Pages: 559-576

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:481:p:559-576
Contact details of provider: Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, Rm E35, The Bute Building, Westburn Lane, St Andrews, KY16 9AR, UK
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Nilssen, T. & Sorgard, L., 1998. "A Public Firm Challenged by Entry: Duplication of Diversity?," Papers 13/98, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  2. Dieter Schmidtchen & Achim Mayer, 1997. "Established Clergy, Friars and the Pope: Some Institutional Economics of the Medieval Church," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(1), pages 122-, March.
  3. Sullivan, Dennis H, 1985. "Simultaneous Determination of Church Contributions and Church Attendance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(2), pages 309-20, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1995. "Risk, Rationality, and Religious Portfolios," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 285-95, April.
  6. Alberto Cassone & Carla Marchese, 1999. "The Economics of Religious Indulgences," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(3), pages 429-, September.
  7. Davidson, Audrey B. & Ekelund, Robert Jr., 1997. "The medieval church and rents from marriage market regulations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 215-245, February.
  8. Montgomery, James D, 1996. "Contemplations on the Economic Approach to Religious Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 443-47, May.
  9. Nilssen, T., 1996. "Sequential Location when Transportation Costs Are Asymmetric," Memorandum 36/1996, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  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.
  11. Ekelund, Robert B, Jr & Hebert, Robert F & Tollison, Robert D, 1989. "An Economic Model of the Medieval Church: Usury as a Form of Rent Seeking," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 307-31, Fall.
  12. Ekelund, Robert Jr. & Hebert, Robert F. & Tollison, Robert D., 1992. "The economics of sin and redemption : Purgatory as a market-pull innovation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-15, September.
  13. Ekelund, Robert B. & Hebert, Robert F. & Tollison, Robert D. & Anderson, Gary M. & Davidson, Audrey B., 1997. "Sacred Trust: The Medieval Church as an Economic Firm," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103373.
  14. Lipford, Jody & McCormick, Robert E. & Tollison, Robert D., 1993. "Preaching matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 235-250, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1977. "Household Allocation of Time and Religiosity: Replication and Extension," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 415-23, April.
  17. Brooks Hull & Frederick Bold, 1998. "Product Variety in Religious Markets," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:481:p:559-576. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.