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Are Religions for Sale? Evidence from the Swedish Church Revolt over Same-Sex Marriage
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2017 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2017. , p. 29
Series
Working paper / Department of Economics, Uppsala University (Online), ISSN 1653-6975 ; 2017:4
Keywords [en]
religious orthodoxy, same-sex marriage, subsidies, rent-seeking, religious market hypothesis
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-317443OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-317443DiVA, id: diva2:1081700
Available from: 2017-03-14 Created: 2017-03-14 Last updated: 2017-03-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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