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Religion and the demand for membership in environmental citizen groups


  • Robert Lowry


I test the hypothesis that religious affiliation is an empirical measure of tastes and beliefs that affect the demand for membership in environmental citizen groups. The number of adherents to Judeo-Christian denominations per household has a significant, negative effect on state membership rates for nine groups advocating a preservationist approach to environmental policy, particularly in states with many Catholics, Baptists and Mormons. Religious affiliation has a marginally significant, positive effect on membership rates for two sportsmen groups advocating private stewardship. These results suggest that religious affiliation should also be a significant determinant of constituent preferences for environmental policies. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Lowry, 1998. "Religion and the demand for membership in environmental citizen groups," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 223-240, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:94:y:1998:i:3:p:223-240
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1017921310610

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pashigian, B Peter, 1985. "Environmental Regulation: Whose Self-interests Are Being Protected?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(4), pages 551-584, October.
    2. Nelson, Phillip J, 1994. "Voting and Imitative Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 92-102, January.
    3. Kau, James B & Rubin, Paul H, 1993. "Ideology, Voting, and Shirking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(1-2), pages 151-172, June.
    4. Matsusaka, J.C. Khan, M. E., 1991. "Interest Groups and the Environment: a Study of Initiative Voting Patterns," Papers 91-32, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
    5. Peltzman, Sam, 1984. "Constituent Interest and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 181-210, April.
    6. ., 1991. "Annual Report 1991," Papers 1991, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
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    9. Kau, James B & Rubin, Paul H, 1979. "Self-Interest, Ideology, and Logrolling in Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 365-384, October.
    10. Peltzman, Sam, 1985. "An Economic Interpretation of the History of Congressional Voting in the Twentieth Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 656-675, September.
    11. James Kau & Paul Rubin, 1979. "Public interest lobbies: membership and influence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 45-54, March.
    12. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    Cited by:

    1. Owen, Ann L. & Videras, Julio R., 2007. "Culture and public goods: The case of religion and the voluntary provision of environmental quality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 162-180, September.
    2. Clifford A. Grammich, 2005. "Many Faiths of Many Regions Continuities and Changes Among Religious Adherents Across U.S. Counties," Working Papers WR-211, RAND Corporation.
    3. Videras, Julio, 2006. "Religion and animal welfare: Evidence from voting data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 652-659, August.
    4. Chermak, Janie M. & Krause, Kate, 2002. "Individual Response, Information, and Intergenerational Common Pool Problems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 47-70, January.
    5. van Kempen, Luuk & Muradian, Roldan & Sandóval, César & Castañeda, Juan-Pablo, 2009. "Too poor to be green consumers? A field experiment on revealed preferences for firewood in rural Guatemala," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2160-2167, May.

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