Extremism and the Economics of Religion

6 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2012

See all articles by Laurence R. Iannaccone

Laurence R. Iannaccone

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 2012


By modeling religious activity as a product of rational choice and market forces, the economics of religion offers new insights concerning religious trends, the consequences of religious freedom, doctrinal innovation, and the enduring appeal of extremism. The work both complements and challenges that of sociologists, historians, and other religious scholars. Club‐theoretic models of sectarianism highlight the potential benefits of strictness and sacrifice, not only in religions, but also in communes, gangs, military units, social movements, political organizations, and even academic subfields.

JEL Classification: Z12, D71, D74

Suggested Citation

Iannaccone, Laurence R., Extremism and the Economics of Religion (June 2012). Economic Record, Vol. 88, pp. 110-115, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2094792 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2012.00803.x

Laurence R. Iannaccone (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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