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The Effects of County Population Diversity on Contributions, Membership, and Adherents in the Presbyterian Religion and on Adherence in Mainline Protestant Religions

Douglas Coate and James VanderHoff

Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark from Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark

Abstract: In this research we use data from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 2005-2007 to study the effects of race and ethnic diversity in the county on religious membership and religious giving in Presbyterian congregations. We also use data from the Religious Congregations Membership Study 2000 to study the effects of race and ethnic diversity in the county on religious adherence in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in other mainline Protestant denominations. We have found that the percent of the county population non white is positively and significantly related to contributions per member by Presbyterians and to membership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the congregation level and at the county level in multivariate statistical models. We have also found these results to hold at the county level for religious adherence in mainline Protestant denominations. These results are at odds with the view that increases in population diversity at the county level may lead to a decline in religious participation.

Keywords: religious membership; religious giving; population diversity; social capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z12 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20
Date: 2009-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-soc
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