The countercyclical asset, a continuing series

by on December 14, 2008 at 12:33 pm in Religion | Permalink

A study last year may lend some credence to the legend. 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.

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

1 Matthew December 14, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Looks like people skipped the Book of Job.

2 Josh December 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Since all we are dealing with here are correlations, it is quite possible that both recessions and evangelical church growth rates are actually linked to a third factor, which drives both. I would like to suggest that recessions and increases evangelical church growth rate are both caused by decreases in the bust-to-waist ratio of Playboy playmate models:

3 Bob Murphy December 14, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Seems to me a classic example of an inferior good.

Actually, your soul is priceless.

4 floccina December 15, 2008 at 10:31 am

In a recession evangelicals get to say “I told you so. Debt is bad.

Prov 22:7
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: