Religious participation and economic recessions

Reginald J. Harris, Simon K Medcalfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During the financial crisis which began in 2007, a number of articles explored the belief that religiosity increases during times of economic hardship. Using individual church data from over one thousand churches in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1999 to 2009, this paper analyzes the relationship between religious participation and economic recessions. Participation is measured by attendance at the main Sunday worship service and the state of the economy is measured using various unemployment rates. Overall, recessions tend to be associated with declines in attendance at United Methodist Churches, although the effect is not strong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-59
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Economics and Economic Education Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Business cycle
  • Church attendance
  • Church growth
  • Economic conditions
  • Recession
  • Religiosity
  • United methodist church

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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