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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Schism and switching are important in religious markets when strict monopoly or force is not involved. The Protestant Reformation is an important case and may be seen as entry of a new firm into a previously monopolized market. This was essentially rent dissipation. Other cases may involve religious consumers switching to firms that better match their religious preferences. Firms in such a setting make strategic decisions about doctrine and costs imposed on consumers in order to capture segments of the market. Models of schism predict that it will be less prevalent in hierarchical churches where costs are higher, and this appears borne out by data. Models of switching suggest it will be common when brands of churches are numerous and similar, again borne out by data.

Keywords: interdisciplinary, economics, theology, religion, Christianity, Protestant Reformation, rents, schism switching, location

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