Religion, Clubs, and Emergent Social Divides
Arguments for and against the existence of an American cultural divide are frequently placed in a religious context. This paper seeks to establish that, all politics aside, the American religious divide is real, that modern religious polarization is not a uniquely American phenomenon, and that religious divides can be understood as naturally emergent within the club theory of religion. Analysis of the 2005 Baylor University Religion Survey reveals a bimodal distribution of religious commitment in the United States. International survey data reveals bimodal distributions in twenty-five of twenty-nine surveyed countries. The club theory of religion, when applied in a multi-agent model, generates bimodal distributions of religious commitment whose emergence correlates to the substitutability of club goods for standard goods and the mean population wage rate. This tendency towards religious polarization has important ramifications for majority rule electoral outcomes when religion is politically salient. Majority rule, principally analogous to the statistical median, is a non-robust estimator of voter preferences when they are bimodally distributed. Given recent evidence that religiosity has come to dominate income as a determinant of voter preferences, small errors can be anticipated to disproportionately affect electoral outcomes in the U.S.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2009|
|Date of revision:||May 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.towson.edu/cbe/economics/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Clementi, F. & Gallegati, M., 2005.
"Power law tails in the Italian personal income distribution,"
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications,
Elsevier, vol. 350(2), pages 427-438.
- Fabio Clementi & Mauro Gallegati, 2005. "Power Law Tails in the Italian Personal Income Distribution," Microeconomics 0505005, EconWPA.
- F. Clementi & M. Gallegati, 2004. "Power Law Tails in the Italian Personal Income Distribution," Papers cond-mat/0408067, arXiv.org.
- Eli Berman, 2000.
"Sect, Subsidy, And Sacrifice: An Economist'S View Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953, August.
- Eli Berman, 1998. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," NBER Working Papers 6715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005.
"Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330, November.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2044, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," NBER Working Papers 10835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Randall Holcombe, 1989. "The median voter model in public choice theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 115-125, May.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521477185 is not listed on IDEAS
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 119-144, Spring.
- Glaeser, Edward L. & Ward, Bryce A., 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Working Paper Series rwp06-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- McDonald, James B & Ransom, Michael R, 1979. "Functional Forms, Estimation Techniques and the Distribution of Income," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1513-25, November.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2100, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Levy, David M, 1989. "The Statistical Basis of Athenian-American Constitutional Theory," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 79-103, January.
- Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2006. "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," NBER Working Papers 12410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
- Levy, David M & Peart, Sandra, 2002. " Galton's Two Papers on Voting as Robust Estimation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 357-65, December.
- Joseph Daniels & Marc von der Ruhr, 2005. "God and the Global Economy: Religion and Attitudes Toward Trade and Immigration in the United States," Working Papers and Research 0501, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Majumder, Amita & Chakravarty, Satya Ranjan, 1990. "Distribution of Personal Income: Development of a New Model and Its Application to U.S. Income Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 189-96, April-Jun.
- Bassett, Gilbert W, Jr & Persky, Joseph, 1999. " Robust Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 299-310, June.
- Hungerman, Daniel M., 2005. "Are church and state substitutes? Evidence from the 1996 welfare reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2245-2267, December.
- Stephen Ansolabehere & Jonathan Rodden & James M. Snyder Jr., 2006. "Purple America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 97-118, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2009-03. 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: (Juergen Jung)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.