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Rational praying: The economics of prayer

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  • Brown, Timothy Tyler

Abstract

Prayer, both public and private, is prescribed by most religious traditions. Patterns of prayer are shown to conform to an economic theory of spiritual health. With regard to the frequency of prayer, wages are predicted to correlate negatively, education is predicted to correlate positively, environmental factors that are supportive of prayer are predicted to correlative positively, and the expected "price" for participation in religious activity (the tithe in Judaism and Christianity and the Zakat in Islam) is predicted to correlate negatively. Empirical tests find the predictions of the model are supported for females, but only partially supported for males.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Timothy Tyler, 2009. "Rational praying: The economics of prayer," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 37-44, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:37-44
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