Denominational Schism: An Economic Perspective
In this paper we present an economic model contributing to the explanation of religious schism, a topic mostly dealt with in the fields of sociology and psychology so far. The main idea is to see religious groups as networks. These networks may serve as a device for exchanging information about and via other members. Two effects are implied by this view. On the one hand, the more members a network has, the more anonymous it gets, meaning that the signals one can receive about the type of some other are getting worse. On the other hand, the larger a network is, the more potentially valuable information is available. A modernizing economy is characterized by an increasing number of transactions with an increasing number of partners, leading to increasing transaction costs. It might be profitable for groups to split up in this economic environment in order to economize on these transaction costs. In our view, our findings also contribute to the explanation of the so-called Kelley Thesis, stating that religious movements with stricter enforcement of their behavioural norms are growing in size, while such with rather liberal attitudes toward their norm enforcement face a loss of members. Historical and empirical results supporting our line of argument are presented.
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.:
- North, Douglass C., 1971. "Institutional Change and Economic Growth," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(01), pages 118-125, March.
- Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002.
"Punishing Free Riders: how group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods,"
Middlebury College Working Paper Series
0206, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "Punishing free-riders: How group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 31-51, July.
- Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2004. "Punishing Free-Riders: How Group Size Affects Mutual Monitoring and the Provision of Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 1337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- North, Douglass C., 1984. "Government and the Cost of Exchange in History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 255-264, June.
- 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.
- 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-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996.
"Trust in Large Organizations,"
NBER Working Papers
5864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- R. Mark Isaac & James M. Walker, 1988.
"Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-199.
- R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
- Morris, Morris David, 1967. "Values as an Obstacle to Economic Growth in South Asia: An Historical Survey," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 588-607, December.
- Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 2004. "Persistent parochialism: trust and exclusion in ethnic networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-23, September.
- Greif, Avner, 1992. "Institutions and International Trade: Lessons from the Commercial Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 128-133, May.
- Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002.
"People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes,"
NBER Working Papers
9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- North, Douglass C, 1994.
"Economic Performance through Time,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-368, June.
- Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1998. "On Custom in the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292241.
- Clark, S. D., 1947. "The Religious Factor in Canadian Economic Development," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(S1), pages 89-103, January.
- Swann, G. M. Peter, 2002. "The functional form of network effects," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 417-429, September.
- Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-851, September.
- Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-950, October.
- Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
- George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
- Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
- P. A. M. Taylor & L.J. Arrington, 1958. "Religion And Planning In The Far West: The First Generation Of Mormons In Utah," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 11(1), pages 71-86, 08.
- Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0512013. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.