Two Sides of a Medal: the Changing Relationship between Religious Diversity and Religiosity
AbstractReligious Market Theory assigns basic market principles to the market for religion. The derived supply-side model proposes that religiosity is higher on a competitive market, characterized by high religious diversity. Churches will provide higher quality goods compared to monopolistic churches. The demand-side model, originating from the Secularization Hypothesis, suggests that the establishment of new churches casts doubt on the existing religion, which reduces overall religiosity. I find a negative linear relationship between religious diversity and religiosity which supports the demand-side model. However, high levels of income and democracy mitigate this effect. For high levels of education and immigration, the relationship even turns to positive. The demand-side model seems to dominate in less-developed countries. This effect appears to vanish in the most industrialized countries.