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The invisible hand plays dice: multiple equilibria in sects markets

  • Poutvaara, Panu
  • Wagener, Andreas

Religious participation is much more widespread in the United Statesthan in Europe, while Europeans tend to view sects more suspiciouslythan Americans We propose an explanation for these patterns withoutassuming differences in preferences or market fundamentals We study areligious market where both demand and supply of spiritual services areendogenous Such markets may have multiple equilibria Further, equilibriawith more sects result in higher welfare and lower membership costs, assecular societies tend to host on average more demanding sects

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19822.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published in Public Choice 3-4 145(2010): pp. 483-502
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19822
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  1. P. Diamond, 1980. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Working papers 268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Laurence Iannaccone & Eli Berman, 2006. "Religious extremism: The good, the bad, and the deadly," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 109-129, July.
  3. Bryan S. Graham & Jonathan R. W. Temple, 2004. "Rich nations, poor nations: how much can multiple equilibria explain?," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp017, IIIS.
  4. 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.
  5. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  6. Eli Berman, 2003. "Hamas, Taliban and the Jewish Underground: An Economist's View of Radical Religious Militias," NBER Working Papers 10004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2004. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," NBER Working Papers 10438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Howitt, Peter, 1985. "Transaction Costs in the Theory of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 88-100, March.
  10. Brooks Hull & Frederick Bold, 1998. "Product Variety in Religious Markets," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19.
  11. Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. & Robert F. Hebert & Robert D. Tollison, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of the Protestant Reformation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 646-671, June.
  12. Robert B. Ekelund Jr. & Robert F. Hebert & Robert D. Tollison, 2008. "The Marketplace of Christianity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550717, June.
  13. Howitt, Peter & McAfee, R Preston, 1988. "Stability of Equilibria with Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 261-77, May.
  14. Ekelund, Robert B, Jr & Hebert, Robert F & Tollison, Robert D, 1989. "An Economic Model of the Medieval Church: Usury as a Form of Rent Seeking," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 307-31, Fall.
  15. Ferrero, Mario, 2002. "Radicalization as a reaction to failure: an economic model of islamic extremism," POLIS Working Papers 31, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
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