The Economics of Religion (Hardcover)
Adam Smith, one of the founding fathers of contemporary economics, observed that religiosity is influenced by the extent of regulation in the "market" for religion. In countries where there is a state-sponsored religion, one can expect less overall religiosity than if the market were competitive and religions had to compete to increase their membership. Religion, he claims, is like other goods and services supplied in a market economy.
Max Weber, one of the founding fathers of contemporary sociology, similarly proposed that religiosity and economic principles are strongly interconnected phenomena. Weber famously thought that Protestant religious beliefs about the importance of work, savings and trustworthiness played an important role in sparking the Industrial Revolution and accelerating economic growth in the Western World.
This edited volume contains original contributions by eminent scholars in the new and emerging field of the economics of religion. The contributions expand upon the ground-breaking ideas of Adam Smith and Max Weber. The chapters also illuminate new directions for research in this relatively young, intellectually exciting, and rapidly growing multidisciplinary field of scientific inquiry