Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Mathematical Economics

Reader 1

Nayana Bose

Reader 2

Sean Flynn


Religion has long been a subject that baffles economists because of its seemingly inefficient requirements. It is hard to get one's mind around why an individual would be willing to give up secular commodities for religion, or face the strict entry costs and stigma society associates with the religion. Although many reasons have been suggested, the most widely accepted solution to why we engage in these behaviors is Religious Signaling Theory (RST). RST argues that people engage in these ineffective costs as a way to signal their commitment to the religion, and religions were utilized by society to enforce these costs and to be the community whom the commitment will benefit.

Included in

Economics Commons