IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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.)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pena López, J.A. & Sanchez Santos, J.M., 2005. "Mercados de creencias versus hipótesis de la secularización: aspectos positivos y normativos/Markets of beliefs vs. scularization hupothecis: positive and normative aspects," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 23, pages 837-861, Diciembre.
  • Handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:23_3_14

    Download full text from publisher

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

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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 350-364, April.
    2. Pablo BraÒas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2004. "Analyzing Religiosity within an Economic Framework: The Case of Spanish Catholics," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 5-22, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    5. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Market for Goods and the Market for Ideas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 384-391, May.
    6. 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..
    7. 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.
    8. Posner, Richard A, 1987. "The Law and Economics Movement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 1-13, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Economía de la Religión; Hipótesis de la secularización; Mercados de creencias; Test de Iannaccone/Economics of Religion; Secularization Hypothesis; Market of Beliefs; Iannaccone’s test.;

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:23_3_14. 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: (Beatriz Rodríguez Prado). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.