Date of Award

8-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Economics and Finance

First Advisor

John Gilbert

Abstract

Temple worship and geographical boundaries are unique features of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Our research uses economic theory to understand how the organizational benefits of the temple recommend system and the geographical ward boundaries may solve the market failures associated with religious organizations. These features of the LDS Church will be used to create a framework for understanding how the church limits free-riding and sub-optimal participation, which would result in increased efficiency and production of large religious benefits. Because the market failures faced by the church are the same as those faced by other religious groups and similar to those faced by clubs, this research provides insights into possible solutions for groups besides the LDS church.

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