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Preaching and politics: disentangling religiosity and political choice


  • Brian L. Goff

    (Western Kentucky University)

  • Michelle W. Trawick

    () (Western Kentucky University)


Abstract The relationship between political outcome and religiosity is often presented in overly simplistic terms with political parties labeled with a religious categorization or belief system, such as Catholics are Democrats and Baptists are Republicans. We develop a Lancaster-type model of religious and political activity where these choices grow out of underlying endowments, attributes, and production capabilities of consumers along with attributes of religious organizations. Such a model suggests that the relationships between religious and political activity are complex and driven by choice fundamentals. Using county-level data from the 2000 and 2012 presidential elections, we find empirical support for this more complex view of the relationship between religion and politics.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian L. Goff & Michelle W. Trawick, 2017. "Preaching and politics: disentangling religiosity and political choice," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 41(3), pages 595-609, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:41:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12197-017-9389-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s12197-017-9389-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Religious choice; Political choice; Lancaster-utility;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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