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"The economics and political science of religion have blossomed into full-fledged fields in the last decade and a half. What was once a field on the far outskirts of economics and political science now regularly publishes in its top journals (see Figure 1).1 By 1998, the field was large enough for Iannaccone (1998) to write a survey of the shape of the field. The field was very much at its infancy at that time, and most of the best work was done by sociologists and/or published in sociology journals. This has changed significantly in the 22 years since Iannaccone's survey. While the sociology of religion is still thriving as a field, the economics and political science of religion has become a distinct and impactful field of its own. Institutionally, this change is mirrored by the growth of the ASREC (Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture) annual meetings. ASREC, founded by Iannaccone in 2000, met for a few sessions at the annual meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion until 2009. Since then, it has held its own annual meetings, and it is mainly attended by economists and political scientists. The meetings have anywhere between 50 and 100 papers presented, most of top quality. Indeed, most of the data points in Figure 1 were presented at ASREC."


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Demographic Economics, volume 86, issue 3, in 2020. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


Université catholique de Louvain 2020

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