A Critical Review of Economic Analyses of Religion
affiliation not provided to SSRN
November 25, 2008
Recent years have seen increasing interest in economic analyses of religion. We carry out a critical review of Economics of Religion (EoR) in this review essay. We find that on the one hand EoR has made a significant contribution to enhance our understanding of secular trappings of religion and to break the stranglehold of non-rational approach to religion. On the other it has failed systematically to address the core of religion, namely, belief in its purportedly supernatural basis. Furthermore the methodological foundations of EoR are far from settled. We identify the shortcomings of the literature and suggest remedial measures, wherever possible.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 159
Keywords: Church, Credence Goods, Economic Methodology, Inscrutable Markets, Religion
JEL Classification: A1, B2, B4, B5, Z12
Date posted: August 5, 2008 ; Last revised: November 27, 2008
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