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The Economics of Religion

My colleague Larry Iannaccone applies economics to religion. What does that mean exactly? He assumes that people are rational even when they choose to make the sacrifices that most religions demand. That leads to insights about religion’s special role in producing cohesiona nd community. He studies the role of state religions in reducing competition among denominations and finds that competition produces better outcomes for consumers. You can find some of Larry’s many fascinating insights in this EconTalk podcast. (You don’t need an iPod to listen).

The next edition of EconTalk will be an interview with Walter Williams next Monday.