IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Model of Religious Investment to Explain the Success of Megachurches


  • Marc von der Ruhr

    () (Department of Economics, St. Norbert College)

  • Joseph Daniels

    () (Center for Global and Economic Studies, Marquette University)


Despite their non-traditional approach, megachurches have grown significantly in the United States since 1980. This paper constructs a model of religious investment to examine how �seeker�-oriented megachurches succeed in attracting and retaining new members. The model illustrates that megachurches have been able to encourage additional religious investment through group-based activities. Hence, these activities may be viewed as a subsidy for religious investment. As a result, individuals associated with megachurches increase their religious investment relative to individuals associated with non-megachurches. Data from the FACT2000 survey provide evidence that megachurches employ groups to help subsidize individuals� religious investment, and that the resulting religious capital rises among members of megachurches relative to members of non-megachurches.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc von der Ruhr & Joseph Daniels, 2008. "A Model of Religious Investment to Explain the Success of Megachurches," Working Papers and Research 0806, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrq:wpaper:0806

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2008
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Megachurches; Religious Investment; Subsidy;

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:mrq:wpaper:0806. 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: (Andrew G. Meyer). 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.