Catholic Losses Are Baptist Gains
In the zero-sum game of competitive markets, one company’s misstep is often a rival’s gain. But what about in the marketplace of religion?
A new study (PDF here) titled “Substitution and Stigma: Evidence on Religious Competition from the Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal,” by Notre Dame economist Daniel Hungerman, looks at whether other religious faiths gained from the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. Using data from 1990-2007, Hungerman finds significant spillover effects on other religious groups.
The big winner? Baptist churches, both financially and in membership growth.