Friday, June 20, 2008

More Economics of Religion

Although I consider myself a macroeconomist, I really enjoy dabbling in the economics of religion. As noted in previous postings, I have done some work on the relationship between religiosity and the business cycle. I have also pointed you toward some of interesting work done by Jonathan Gruber and Daniel Hungerman. If you are interested in this field of economics let me direct you to some other resources. First, check out this EconTalk with Larry Iannaccone, probably the seminal researcher in this field of economics. He continues to lead out in this area and has formed the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture(ASREC). They have an annual meeting where you will find many interesting papers covering the economics of religion. Second, take a look at this survey paper titled Introduction to the Economics of Religion. It comes from the Journal of Economic Literature and is a great overview of the field. Finally, here and here are two popular articles that look at the economics of religion.

By the way, I happen to be organizing a session on the economics of religion at the next Southern Economic Association meeting. If you happen to be in Washington D.C. in November and are interested in this topic please drop by.


  1. Wonder what this says about us atheists? Or maybe we are so busy being rational, and avoiding superstition, supernatural causes, and dressed up us vs. them tribalism for the economic rationales to apply? Or maybe we are just like hippies on a commune opting out of the traditional market based lifestyle?

  2. Tax Attorney,

    This rationality framework would say atheists too are responding to incentives and making choices to maximize their well being.

    Larry Iannaconne discusses on the EconTalk how his club good approach to religion also can be seen with organizations promoting an atheist view.