Monday, December 22, 2008

The Business Cycle and Religiosity on CNN

Consistent with my research, CNN did a segment that shows evangelical Protestant churches grow during economic downturns:

By the way, if you looked close enough you might have seen me briefly in the video clip. Here is more from another CNN Interview:
For a more thorough discussion of why evangelical Protestants are so sensitive to swings in business cycles see here.

Update: Here is the New York Times article mentioned in the video clip.


  1. Amazing contrast in US churchgoing to secular Northern Europe. Perhaps the welfare state, so strong over there, is a substitute for the church.

  2. Kirk:

    One of the arguments I make in my paper is that churches provide consumption smoothing over the business cycle. So to the extent the welfare state can provide such consumption smoothing, it would act as substitute for church (although I don't think they are perfect substitutes).

    If you are interested,here is a paper that among other things makes the following case: "[R]eligion’s insurance role might be reflected in support for different economic and social systems: consistent with this, unemployment replacement rates across Europe are lower in more religious countries." The paper is named Deliver Us From Evil: Religion as Insurance."

  3. will take a look, thanks.

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