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Club Mormon

Club Mormon The Mormon Church is best understood as a club, in the economics sense of the term. It succeeds, in part, because it identifies and selectively rewards high contributors, thereby limiting free-riding and producing large religious benefits for its members. First, it offers a menu of club goods of varying excludability, with the most valued goods excluded from less-committed members. Second, to enforce this menu, it actively monitors its members using a sophisticated administrative structure. The menu design reflects to an extent the costs of excludability of various religious goods, and the menu-monitoring approach implicitly allows some free-riding to dynamically foster commitment. Because the menu-monitoring approach is best understood as complementing other methods in achieving the Mormon Church's religious goals, these findings yield insights into the activities of other religious groups. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Rationality and Society SAGE

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References (52)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
1043-4631
eISSN
1461-7358
DOI
10.1177/1043463107083736
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Mormon Church is best understood as a club, in the economics sense of the term. It succeeds, in part, because it identifies and selectively rewards high contributors, thereby limiting free-riding and producing large religious benefits for its members. First, it offers a menu of club goods of varying excludability, with the most valued goods excluded from less-committed members. Second, to enforce this menu, it actively monitors its members using a sophisticated administrative structure. The menu design reflects to an extent the costs of excludability of various religious goods, and the menu-monitoring approach implicitly allows some free-riding to dynamically foster commitment. Because the menu-monitoring approach is best understood as complementing other methods in achieving the Mormon Church's religious goals, these findings yield insights into the activities of other religious groups.

Journal

Rationality and SocietySAGE

Published: Nov 1, 2007

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