A Critical Review of Economic Analyses of Religion

Vikas Kumar

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.

Keywords: Church, Credence Goods, Economic Methodology, Inscrutable Markets, Religion

JEL Classification: A1, B2, B4, B5, Z12

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Date posted: August 5, 2008 ; Last revised: February 21, 2016

Suggested Citation

Kumar, Vikas, A Critical Review of Economic Analyses of Religion (November 25, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1193862 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1193862

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Vikas Kumar (Contact Author)
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