IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Mr. Smith and the Preachers: The Economics of Religion in the Wealth of Nations


  • Anderson, Gary M


The extension of economic analysis to problems beyond the domain of formal markets and explicit prices represents a major recent intellectual development. But "economic imperialism" is not new and was not invented in Chicago. Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, extended economic reasoning to a variety of nonmarket exchange problems. One example is his analysis of religious behavior. Smith viewed participation in religion as a rational device by which individuals enhanced the value of their human capital. He also explained the behavior of the clergy and other suppliers of religious services from an economic perspective. Copyright 1988 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 1066-1088, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:96:y:1988:i:5:p:1066-88

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers. See for details.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Krugman, 1986. "Strategic Trade Policy and the New International Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610450, January.
    2. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-839, December.
    3. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "Trade Unions, Wages and Unemployment: What Can Simple Models Tell Us?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 526-545, November.
    4. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
    5. Diewert, W E, 1974. "The Effects of Unionization on Wages and Employment: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 319-339, September.
    6. Freeman, Richard B & Medoff, James L, 1982. "Substitution between Production Labor and Other Inputs in Unionized and Nonunionized Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(2), pages 220-233, May.
    7. Freeman, Richard B & Medoff, James L, 1981. "The Impact of the Percentage Organized on Union and Nonunion Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 561-572, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    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:ucp:jpolec:v:96:y:1988:i:5:p:1066-88. 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: (Journals Division). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.