S-WoPEc
 
Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
HomeAboutSeriesSubject/JEL codesAdvanced Search
Department of Economics, Uppsala University Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Uppsala University

No 2017:4:
Are Religions for Sale? Evidence from the Swedish Church Revolt over Same-Sex Marriage

Niklas Bengtsson ()

Abstract: Religious leaders sometimes condemn progressive social norms. In this paper, I revisit David Hume’s hypothesis that secular states can “bribe” churches into adopting less strict religious doctrines. The hypothesis is difficult to test due to reverse causality: more liberal theologies may attract more political support in the first place. To circumvent this problem, I focus on a theological conflict over same-sex marriage within the Church of Sweden and take advantage of political regulations that effectively make some parishes shareholders of the church’s state-protected property. The shares used for statistical identification are tied to property rights assigned more than 300 years ago, and they cannot be sold, traded or amended by the individual parishes. I find that priests in shareholding parishes are less likely to publicly oppose same-sex marriage. The effect is stronger in parishes with more conservative members. The combined results are consistent with a model of clerical opportunism, in which access to political rents increases the clergy’s loyalty to the political sponsors relative to the local community.

Keywords: religious orthodoxy; same-sex marriage; subsidies; rent-seeking; religious market hypothesis; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: H20; H30; Z12; (follow links to similar papers)

29 pages, March 10, 2017

Before downloading any of the electronic versions below you should read our statement on copyright.
Download GhostScript for viewing Postscript files and the Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.

Full text versions of the paper:

FULLTEXT01.pdf    PDF-file
Download Statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Katarina Grönvall ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson () or Helena Lundin ().

Programing by
Design by Joachim Ekebom

Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2017_004 This page was generated on 2017-03-15 17:25:27