The Invisible Hand Plays Dice: Eventualities in Religious Markets

24 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2004

See all articles by Panu Poutvaara

Panu Poutvaara

University of Helsinki - Department of Economics; Helsinki Center of Economic Research (HECER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Andreas Wagener

Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover - Economics and Business Administration Area; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration

Date Written: July 2004

Abstract

Religious participation is much more widespread in the United States than in Europe, while Europeans tend to view sects more suspiciously than Americans. We propose an explanation for these patterns without assuming differences in preferences or market fundamentals. Religious markets may have multiple equilibria, suggesting that observed differences in religious structures may merely be eventualities. Further, equilibria with more sects result in higher welfare and lower membership costs, as secular societies tend to host on average more demanding sects. Our main methodological contribution to the theory of religious markets is endogenizing simultaneously supply and demand of spiritual services.

Keywords: sects, religion, tithes, religious markets

JEL Classification: Z12, L89, J24, D71

Suggested Citation

Poutvaara, Panu and Wagener, Andreas, The Invisible Hand Plays Dice: Eventualities in Religious Markets (July 2004). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1238. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=573244

Panu Poutvaara (Contact Author)

University of Helsinki - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 54
FIN-00014 Helsinki
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.valt.helsinki.fi/blogs/poutvaar/

Helsinki Center of Economic Research (HECER) ( email )

FI-00014 Helsinki
Finland

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Andreas Wagener

Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover - Economics and Business Administration Area ( email )

Koenigsworther Platz 1
30167 Hannover
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

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