Some Insights on Religion from Public Goods Economics
This paper provides a theoretical discussion on what analytical insight is gained by viewing religion as both a pure and impure public good. It suggests that organized religion converts a public good into an excludable club good and can be viewed as providing both an access regime for this club good as well as acting as an intermediary. Interestingly, this drives a wedge between the ardent and moderate adherents of a religion. It also presents an analysis of trust in social relationships when organized religion works to provide a credible signal of trustworthiness.
Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
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- Anderson, Gary M, 1988. "Mr. Smith and the Preachers: The Economics of Religion in the Wealth of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 1066-88, October.
- 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.
- Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
- Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
- Tomes, Nigel, 1985. "Religion and the Earnings Function," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 245-50, May.
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