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Towards Divine Economics: Some Testable Propositions

  • Syed Nisar Hussain Hamdani

    (University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad.)

  • Eatzaz Ahmad

    (Depart of Economics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.)

Throughout the human history, the religion has remained a fundamental feature of social construct and human behaviour. Religious orientation plays important role in shaping human perceptions about economic and non-economic activities. With few exceptions, religion has remained an un-explored area in economics. For most economists, narrative and metaphor have no place in a rational choice theory, which is a wrong belief. In fact, any approach that considers behavioural laws satisfying the criteria of objectivity, reproducibility, and refutability is scientific and falls in purview of rational choice framework. A few studies, however, do exist on economics of religion under rational choice concerning to households, groups, and entire “religious markets”. [Becker (1976); Iannaccone (1988, 1990, 1992, 1993); Mack and Leigland (1992)]. Rosenberg (1985) presents discussion of the limitations of neoclassical economic theory due to its reliance on exogenous differences in taste and preference. It is argued that these limitations cannot be circumvented by findings and theories in other disciplines (e.g., psychology), because any measurement of preferences must begin with neoclassical assumptions about rationality. The alternative to tasteendogeniety advanced by [Becker (1976)] is found to only circumvent the usual difficulties if “stable preferences” notion is interpreted as needs. Further advancement is not taking place because of the important heterogeneous variables, which have yet received little attention from economists. Such variables may be found in attitudes and values acquired by consumers in variety of social and religious environments.

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Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 41 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 609-626

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:41:y:2002:i:4:p:609-626
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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. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  3. Long, Stephen H & Settle, Russell F, 1977. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 409-13, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Pollak, Robert A & Wachter, Michael L, 1975. "The Relevance of the Household Production Function and Its Implications for the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 255-77, April.
  6. 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.
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