Christianity as an economic good?

In keeeping with the newly emboldened MBC Blog, today we touch on Religion! Tomorrow is Good Friday, and we approach the zenith of the Christian year, with Easter Sunday, so we felt now would be a good time to touch on some of the wider rangings of our dismal science.

 Chris Giles, the FT’s Economics Editor writes “Laurence Iannaccone of George Mason University, author of a comprehensive survey of the economics of religion, has his tongue nowhere near his cheek as he cites the premise that “individuals allocate their time and goods among religious and secular commodities so as to maximise lifetime and afterlife utility.”
Upon reading this I couldn’t help but feel that sometimes, whilst the ex poste data may justify both the study and applicability of economics to the practise fo religion – in some areas there should also be boundaries. Giles goes on to qualify his musings in a well rounded and thoughtful article, it is simply that for most (even economists!) the cost benefit effect of church attendance is far from their minds when contemplating both our Maker and our role in the World.He makes a very interesting point, saying that in societies where the fear of Hell is strong, economic performance is higher (fear of Hell encouraging more trust and less cheating – adding to productivity of energy expended!). Again, however, one may be best directed to study both religious and literary texts for more divine insight – I recommend James Joyce’s “Portrait of the artist as a young man” for filling the reader’s soul with the fear of eternal damnation….I only recently discovered a blood link to the Jesuits – now there’s something to think about…..
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About Damian Merciar
Damian Merciar is Managing Director of Merciar Business Consulting, http://www.merciar.com, a niche business economics consultancy founded in 1998. He has over twenty years experience in the areas of commercial Business Strategy. He is experienced in the transition environments of nationalized to private sector state utilities and the senior practice of commercial management, advisorial consultancy, and implementation. He has carried out policy advisory work for government ministries and been an adviser to institutional bodies proposing changes to government. He holds an MSc Economics from the University of Surrey’s leading Economics department and an MBA from the University of Kent. Also attending the leading University in the Middle East, studying International Relations and Language, for which he won a competitive international scholarship, and has a BA (Hons) in Economic History and Political Economy from the University of Portsmouth. He is currently based in London.

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