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Mercados de creencias versus hipótesis de la secularización: aspectos positivos y normativos/Markets of beliefs vs. scularization hupothecis: positive and normative aspects



    (Departamento de Economía Aplicada I. Universidad de La Coruña.)



    (Departamento de Economía Aplicada I. Universidad de La Coruña.)

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    En el presente trabajo se aborda la dimensión objetiva del hecho religioso con la metodología propia del análisis económico, poniendo en cuestión las derivaciones de la tradicional hipótesis de la secularización, asumida acríticamente por las restantes ciencias sociales. Así, frente a una visión de la Religión como un hecho social en declive, se adopta un enfoque de oferta que explica su evolución con categorías de mercado. A partir de datos observados sobre el comportamiento de la demanda y basándonos en la interrelación entre competencia inter e intraconfesional, defendemos que los niveles de práctica religiosa serían explicables por las peculiaridades regulatorias de cada mercado de creencias. Estos resultados refuerzan la solidez de la tesis smithiana ya puesta de relieve por L. Iannaccone. La evidencia empírica obtenida justifica una propuesta normativa sobre la necesaria neutralidad de las políticas públicas al respecto. In the present work, the objective dimension of religious facts is analysed with the methodology of Economic Analysis. We put to the test the derivations of the traditional hypothesis of the secularization, assumed acritically in most of social sciences. Opposite to that vision of Religion as a social fact in declivity, a supply approach that explains its evolution with categories of market is adopted. Considering the data of demand of religion and the relationship between inter and intraconfessional competition, we show that the levels of religious practice could be explained by the regulatory peculiarities of each market of beliefs. These results reinforce the robustness of the smithian thesis about the religious markets, that L. Iannaccone had emphasized. The empirical evidence justifies a normative proposal on the necessary neutrality of public policies.

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    Article provided by Estudios de Economía Aplicada in its journal Estudios de Economía Aplicada.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
    Issue (Month): (Diciembre)
    Pages: 837-861

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    Handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:23_3_14
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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. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    3. Garza, Pablo Brañas & Neuman, Shoshana, 2003. "Analyzing Religiosity Within an Economic Framework: The Case of Spanish Catholics," IZA Discussion Papers 868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Posner, Richard A, 1987. "The Law and Economics Movement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 1-13, May.
    5. Peltzman, Sam, 1973. "The Effect of Government Subsidies-in-Kind on Private Expenditures: The Case of Higher Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(1), pages 1-27, Jan.-Feb..
    6. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Market for Goods and the Market for Ideas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 384-91, May.
    7. Iannaccone, Laurence R & Finke, Roger & Stark, Rodney, 1997. "Deregulating Religion: The Economics of Church and State," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 350-64, April.
    8. Charles M. North & Carl R. Gwin, 2004. "Religious Freedom and the Unintended Consequences of State Religion," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 103-117, July.
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