Rational-choice Theory and The Religious Marketplace

It has become part of human nature to try and maximize our profits, whether it’s working in the stock market, finding the best deal on discounted goods, or even spiritual fulfillment. In the religious market, costs and benefits take a different form from what we are used to thinking about in a “standard” market. Most churches are on a “subscription” based pay system, where the subscriber shows up and pays via time or sometimes financially. It’s hard to find a supplier (a church) to subscribe to because of the vast customization options of religions and subsections and beliefs in different branches. So this creates a market of infinite options in which the suppliers react slowly to a fast paced change in want in the consumers. It’s hard to try and find the pulse on the religious consumers because of their ever changing wants and shifting beliefs. Its hard to gage the ration behind the choices of the consumer because of the difference between what is promised and what is actually fulfilled by the church so at the time of starting they think they are maximizing their profit when in actuality they aren’t. The equivalent of this is a  damaged good or a malfunction in a product, its out of the consumer’s hands. Determining if a consumer is rational or not in their decision making, is almost impossible due to the vast varying scales of priorities and definitions in what they believe is the most important aspect of their time and faith.


One thought on “Rational-choice Theory and The Religious Marketplace

  1. Interesting take on the market idea. As a consumer from various markets, I can say that there are people like me who do not do background research and go in blind. Would you say that there are people like that in this market and do you think that plays a role in the amount of “spiritual but not religious” people?

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