Religion and economics

For these uncertain times, people need something to turn to for hope.  It’s not Obama, as it turns out.

In “Praying for Recession: The Business Cycle and Protestant Religiosity in the United States,” David Beckworth, an assistant professor of economics at Texas State University, looked at long-established trend lines showing the growth of evangelical congregations and the decline of mainline churches and found a more telling detail: During each recession cycle between 1968 and 2004, the rate of growth in evangelical churches jumped by 50 percent. By comparison, mainline Protestant churches continued their decline during recessions, though a bit more slowly.

It’s odd that the correlation is between evangelical congregations, as opposed to say, any old religious church.  And I wonder if there are any other factors leading to this relationship.

Here is the full story.  Here is the paper.  Here is earlier discussion from Mark Thoma’s.  Here is David Beckworth’s blog.  [via]

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