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Dynamic Models of Religious Conformity and Conversion: Theory and Calibrations

  • Oz Shy
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This paper develops behavioral and deterministic overlapping generations models to explain and simulate changes in the proportion of secular and religious people. Under the behavioral approach, the role of the church is to generate an externality associated with the investment in enhancing the conformity rate among young believers. Under the deterministic approach, changes in the number of nonbelievers are explained by different birth rates among secular and religious parents as well as the relative proportion of nonconformists among the young in each group. This model is then used to calibrate for (non)conformity rates among secular and religious people. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Dynamische Modelle religiöser Konformität und Konversion: Theorie und Simulationen) Diese Arbeit entwickelt deterministische und Verhaltensmodelle mit überlappenden Generationen, welche die Veränderungen des Zahlenverhältnisses von nicht religiösen zu religiösen Menschen erklären und simulieren. Im Verhaltensansatz wird aufgezeigt, dass der Kirche die Aufgabe zukommt, einen externen Effekt zu erzeugen, der dafür sorgt, dass junge Gläubige mit der Glaubenseinstellung ihrer Eltern konform gehen. Der deterministische Ansatz erklärt die Veränderungen in der Anzahl Nichtgläubiger einerseits mit den unterschiedlichen Geburtenraten unter nichtgläubigen Eltern im Vergleich zu religiösen Eltern und andererseits durch den relativen Anteil von Nichtkonformen unter der jungen Generation in jeder Gruppe. Dieses Modell wird verwandt, um (Nicht-)Konformitätsraten--nach denen junge Menschen ihren Eltern im Glauben folgen oder nicht--innerhalb der Gruppen weltlicher sowie religiöser Menschen zu berechnen.

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Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number SP II 2005-12.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in the European Economic Review .
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2005-12
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  1. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  2. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," Scholarly Articles 3710663, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Shy,Oz, 2001. "The Economics of Network Industries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521800952, October.
  4. Grilo, Isabel & Shy, Oz & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2001. "Price competition when consumer behavior is characterized by conformity or vanity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 385-408, June.
  5. Lehrer, Evelyn L, 1996. "Religion as a Determinant of Marital Fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 173-96, May.
  6. Hackner, Jonas & Nyberg, Sten, 1996. "Vanity and Congestion: A Study of Reciprocal Externalities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(249), pages 97-111, February.
  7. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  8. Stark, Rodney & Iannaccone, Laurence R & Finke, Roger, 1996. "Religion, Science, and Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 433-37, May.
  9. Weiss, Yoram & Fershtman, Chaim, 1998. "Social status and economic performance:: A survey," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 801-820, May.
  10. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot : Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," DELTA Working Papers 1999-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  11. Pedro Pita Barros & Nuno Garoupa, 2002. "An Economic Theory Of Church Strictness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 559-576, July.
  12. William Mosher & Linda Williams & David Johnson, 1992. "Religion and fertility in the United States: New patterns," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 199-214, May.
  13. Lehrer, Evelyn L., 2004. "Religion as a Determinant of Economic and Demographic Behavior in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1390, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Jackson, Matthew O., 1998. "The Evolution of Social and Economic Networks," Working Papers 1044, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  15. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
  16. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
  17. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Snobs, bandwagons, and the origin of social customs in consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 333-347, March.
  18. 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.
  19. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-73, June.
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