Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Michael W. Walrath, University of St. Thomas asks Entry Models Applied to Churches: Could Protestants Use a Catholic Bishop to Solve Excess Entry?
ABSTRACT: This paper studies the entry behavior of churches of different religious denominations. In a given town, there tend to be fewer Catholic churches (with more members) than there are Protestant churches. Entry of Catholic churches can be considered centralized, since entry is controlled by a bishop; whereas, the entry of Protestant churches is rather decentralized. I estimate an entry game for Protestants, then conduct counterfactuals looking at how entry would change if it were centralized. I find that a large portion of the differences in entry between Catholic and Protestant churches is explained by this difference in entry regulation.