Competition and the Strategic Choices of Churches
In this paper, we examine how the decisions of churches are impacted by the decisions of rival churches. Using a novel data set of Christian churches in two suburban Nashville, TN counties, we estimate a model of strategic interaction based on empirical models of discrete games. We focus on a church’s decision of whether or not to provide a week-day child care program. Empirical evidence indicates that churches are more likely to offer a service when a nearby same-denomination church offers it, but are less likely to offer the service if a nearby different-denomination church offers the service. This suggests that churches may feel pressure to match the services offered by same-denomination churches. Using our estimates, we conduct counterfactual simulations which indicate that a new church’s entry may increase or decrease the number of churches offering child care depending on the size and denomination of the entrant. Additional counterfactual simulations indicate that in some cases, increases in population may decrease the probability of a church offering child care.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2010|
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