Religions vs. Firms

I'm not sure if anyone had a chance to attend the Mountain Plains Management Conference, but i had the opportunity to go for another class. I attended a paper presentation that discussed how the Solow growth could be used to explain the growth of religions. The Solow growth model explains the growth of capital through accumulation. Religion uses proselytizers to accumulate members or capital. The less you put into production, or the less people you have trying to recruit others to your faith, the higher the burnout rate. Through this example, you can see that it is similar to firms that go out of business because they don't put evough focus on the rate of saving, depreciation, and population growth. This is just a very simiple overview of the paper, but it was interesting to see how an economic principle ties into the everyday aspects of our life. There was discussion after the presentation and someone mentioned how our military even works on a recruiting basis. Like i said, it was just interesting to be given such a good example of how economics really plays a part in our lives, and nobody really recognizes it.


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Chloe said...

I agree with you. I had never thought about religion being so much like a firm. And I think the Solow growth model goes along with it quite well. I also found it interesting how the point was brought up that religion has a relatively "weak" message because most people don't hear the message and change their lives right off, that's why religions are so big on missionary work. It requires a lot more commitment to support a religion rather than something like "save the whales".

Savannah said...

This gives and interesting spin on the way to look at religions. I have never thought about comparing the way they function to the way firms are run. But it does make a lot of since.

Morgan said...

I found your post quite interesting. It is amazing to realize how many everyday life applications economic principles have. With the religion example, it shows how input determines output, and how the ultimate success of a religion is a factor of multiple inputs, including fellowshipping, etc. Similar concepts could be applied to everything from the type of job one gets, to the person one ends up marrying!

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sara said...

Elijah, you have some good information here but it is really hard to piece together what you are trying to say? I read another article that talked about why the L.D.S. religion is cutting back the number of missionaries they have. The church says that they are raising the bar, but in economic terms they have passed the lowest point on their LRATC curve and are now trying to gain more productivity per missionary. Is this kind of the same thing?

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Savannah's comment for a spelling error.

-1 on Elijah's post for spelling errors.

Morgan doesn't know how smart he is - stuff like the economics of marriage has already been done.

Yes Sara, I think we are all talking about the same thing.

I'd recommend anyone interested scroll back a few days for another post on this topic.