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

 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.