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Does Duration of Deregulated Religious Markets Affect Church Attendance? Evidence from 26 Religious Markets in Europe and North America Between 1981 and 2006

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Abstract:

This study tests the deregulation hypothesis of religious market theory in 26 European and Northern American countries by examining differences in religious involvement between and within countries. The deregulation hypothesis, which is assumed to be universally valid, predicts that religious involvement is higher in deregulated religious markets. Moreover, countries having deregulated religious markets for a longer period of time are supposed to have higher levels of involvement. Therefore, we test the duration hypothesis. This test is important, as it also has been argued that it may take time for deregulation to have an effect on religious involvement. Multilevel analysis on the stacked European and World Value Surveys of 1981, 1990, 2000, and 2006 show that deregulation fosters church attendance, but duration of deregulation does not increase church attendance. Although the deregulation hypothesis cannot be rejected, we find that modernization corrodes church attendance to a larger extent than deregulation can stimulate church attendance.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2010.01535.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of SociologyRadboud University Nijmegen 2: Institute for Innovation and Governance StudiesUniversity of Twente 3: Statistics and MethodologyRadboud University Nijmegen 4: Nuffield CollegeOxford University

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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