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A Model of Religious Investment to Explain the Success of Megachurches

Marc von der Ruhr () and Joseph Daniels

No 806, Working Papers and Research from Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics

Abstract: Despite their non-traditional approach, megachurches have grown significantly in the United States since 1980. This paper constructs a model of religious investment to examine how �seeker�-oriented megachurches succeed in attracting and retaining new members. The model illustrates that megachurches have been able to encourage additional religious investment through group-based activities. Hence, these activities may be viewed as a subsidy for religious investment. As a result, individuals associated with megachurches increase their religious investment relative to individuals associated with non-megachurches. Data from the FACT2000 survey provide evidence that megachurches employ groups to help subsidize individuals� religious investment, and that the resulting religious capital rises among members of megachurches relative to members of non-megachurches.

Keywords: Megachurches; Religious Investment; Subsidy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2008-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-soc
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http://www.busadm.mu.edu/mrq/workingpapers/wpaper0806.pdf First version, 2008 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mrq:wpaper:0806

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