The Green Marketplace: Applying a Model of Church and Sect to the Environmental Movement
33 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2015
Date Written: October 15, 2013
The economics and sociology literature that deals with churches and sects provides a valuable framework when considering the social structure of environmental organizations. Iannaccone’s church-sect model provides an explanation of how rational individuals can join radical environmental groups, and why the characteristics of these radical groups are similar to sectarian religious groups. The evidence presented in this paper suggests that Iannaccone’s church and sect propositions hold not only for religious groups, but for secular (environmental) groups as well. This paper does not seek to prove whether environmentalism is a secular religion, but rather looks at the social structure of environmental groups.
Keywords: Church-sect model, rational choice, mainstream environmentalism, radical environmentalism, sect-like
JEL Classification: D11, Z10, Z12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation