Niklas Bengtsson


I'm a researcher and lecturer (docent, associate senior lecturer) at the department of economics at Uppsala University, and an affiliated researcher at UCLS

I am currently on research leave at University of California, San Diego (2016-2017).

 The Swedish book "Varför Finns Religion?" (Why does religion exist?), in which I have written a chapter on the economics of religion, has now been published by Molin & Sorgenfrei förlag: Link to book

New: Political rents and religious opposition to same-sex marriage.

Abstract: Orthodox religious leaders sometimes condemn progressive social norms. In this paper, I revisit David Hume's hypothesis that access to political rents makes religious organizations more mainstream. The hypothesis is difficult to test due to reversed causality: a religion's theology may influence the pursuit of political rents in the first place. To circumvent this problem, I focus on a theological conflict over same-sex marriage within the Church of Sweden, and take advantage of political regulations that effectively make some parishes shareholders of the church's state-protected property. I find that priests in shareholding parishes are less likely to publicly oppose same-sex marriage. Other interpretations, based on the selection of members, are not supported by the data.

Most recent version available per request.