Heeding the Call: Seminary Enrollment and the Business Cycle
Danny R. Hughes
Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute
David T. Mitchell
University of Central Arkansas
Government of the United States of America - Army
October 24, 2011
Applied Economic Letters, Vol. 18, p. 433, 2011
We examine a panel of divinity school enrollments to explore the motivations of prospective clergy considering post-graduate training in preparation for the ministry. Employing the fixed-effects within estimator allows us to see pecuniary motivations while controlling for the differences between types of divinity school and denomination. We find decisions by prospective clergy to enroll in seminary are responsive to changes in the business cycle as well as salaries. Our results reinforce the view that variation in opportunity costs associated with business cycles plays a significant role in the timing of human capital formation even for those with mostly nonmonetary motivations.
"...but you got to be practical! We’re here to do good, but first you have to cinch a job that you can do good in!" Sinclair Lewis (1927).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 24, 2011
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