Title

Religious Giving and the Boundedness of Rationality

Keywords

religious giving, rational choice theory, bounded rationality

Abstract

We develop a model of religious giving that is based on ideas from recent studies of bounded rationality and related concepts, heuristics, religious identification, and theological–interpersonal interactions. In general, we predict that the positive association between religious service attendance, importance of religion, or beliefs about the bible and religious giving is conditioned by the strictness of the group. We also propose that there is less variability in giving in strict faith traditions. Estimating models of giving using five national data sets, we find support for the hypothesis concerning variability, but less support for the notion that the proposed associations are conditioned by strictness. The conditional effects are restricted to a data set specifically designed to examine religious giving. Moreover, the hypothesis concerning conditional effects of attendance by strictness may be most valid when measured in specific denominations.

Original Publication Citation

Hoffmann, John P., Bruce R. Lott, and Catherine Jeppsen. 2010. “Religious Giving and the Boundedness of Rationality.” Sociology of Religion 71(3): 323-348.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2010-06-02

Publisher

Sociology of Religion

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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