Religious Organizations

34 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2010  

Gilat Levy

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

Ronny Razin

London School of Economics - Department of Economics

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Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

We propose a model of religious organizations which relies on the ability of such organizations to affect individual beliefs about the causality between actions in the social context and personal utility shocks. We show how religious organizations arise endogenously and characterize their features. Specifically, we find that members of the religious organization share similar beliefs and are more likely to cooperate with one another in social interactions. We identify a "spiritual" as well as a "material" payoff for members of the religious organization. Our results explain and shed light on empirical phenomena such as the effects of secularization and economic development on religious beliefs and participation, the relation between the size of the religion and the intensity of its members' beliefs, religious segregation and religious conflicts.

Suggested Citation

Levy, Gilat and Razin, Ronny, Religious Organizations (November 2009). LSE STICERD Research Paper No. TE544. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1547628

Gilat Levy (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 6652 (Phone)

Ronny Razin

London School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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