The Greying Church: The Impact of Life Expectancy on Religiosity
Many churches are concerned about older and dwindling congregations. We develop a theoretical framework to explain not only the downward trend in church attendance, but also the increase in the proportion of older people in the congregations. Religiosity depends positively on the expected social and spiritual benefits attached to religious adherence, as well as the probability of entering heaven in the afterlife. While otherworldly compensation in terms of salvation and spiritual benefits motivates religiosity, the costs of formal religion in terms of time allocated to communal activities and foregone income work in the opposite direction. We show that higher life expectancy discounts expected benefits in the afterlife and is hence likely to lead to postponement of religiosity. For this reason, religious organizations should be prepared to attract older members to their congregations, while emphasizing contemporaneous religious benefits to increase overall church attendance.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 31 Buccleuch Place, EH8 9JT, Edinburgh|
Web page: http://www.sire.ac.uk
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999.
"The Quality of Government,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, "undated". "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lorna J. Philip & Alana Gilbert, 2007. "Low Income amongst the Older Population in Great Britain: A Rural/Non-rural Perspective on Income Levels and Dynamics," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 735-746.
- Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 22(2), pages 179-232, August.
- John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
- Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
- World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367, May.
- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:78. 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: (Gina Reddie)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.