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Allocating Funds to Local Needs vs. Benevolence: The Impact of Congregational Size by Robert J. Stonebraker* * Associate Professor of Economics at Winthrop University and Emeritus Professor of Economics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I owe a great debt of thanks to Kenneth W. Inskeep, Director of the Department for Research and Evaluation, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for graciously providing the raw data. I remain solely responsible for any heresies subsequently generated and reported. Paper submitted to Review of Religious Research, January 25, 2002. Revised version submitted April, 2002. Published, September 2003. 2 Allocating Funds to Local Needs vs. Benevolence: The Impact of Congregational Size Abstract: Declines in benevolence payments among mainline protestant denominations have caused much theorizing, but have evoked relatively few statistical studies. We know that the percent of congregational receipts being sent on to synodical and national church bodies is falling. We know that increasingly large percents of dollars are staying home to fund local operating expense. Membership losses undoubtedly contribute to the drop in overall benevolence payments by mainline congregations. Do they also contribute to the drop in the amount of benevolences that congregations pay per member and/or the drop in the amount of benevolences that congregations pay relative to their total receipts? Using a large national sample of Lutheran congregations, this study answers “yes.” Congregations that lose members find it difficult to cut program, personnel or facility expenses proportionately. Strapped for cash, shrinking congregations often try to balance their books by cutting benevolence. Smaller congregations allocate a larger percent of their funds to operating expense and a smaller percent to benevolence than do their larger counterparts. Membership loss at the local level is a significant, though minor, determinant of observed benevolence patterns. 3 Allocating Funds to Local Needs vs. Benevolence: The Impact of Congregational Size Local parishes exhort members to tithe, to pledge an "off-the-top" percentage of income to the work of the church. Parishioners giving five percent are encouraged to give six. Those giving ten percent are encouraged to try eleven. However, when it comes to passing funds on to national and synodical church bodies, these same congregations can change their tune. The rhetoric of proportional giving is dropped. Instead of paying an off-the-top percent of local revenues as benevolence, congregations often pass along only what local programs and committees cannot grab first. Declines in benevolence Declines in benevolence among mainline protestant denominations have been well documented (Ronsvalle & Ronsvalle 1999; Inskeep 1994; Nemeth & Luidens 1994). While the trend has caused significant hand wringing and much theorizing, it has evoked relatively few statistical studies. We know that the percent of congregational receipts being sent on to synodical or national church bodies is falling. We know that increasingly large percents of local dollars are staying home. We do not know why. Several observers argue that the cuts in benevolence are symptomatic of a more general spiritual malaise. For example Ronsvalle and Ronsvalle lament the lack of any “overarching vision” (1996:53) in mainline churches that calls parishioners to Christian service and challenges them to look beyond the walls of their local congregations. They fear (Ronsvalle and Ronsvalle 1997) that congregant zeal and fervor are cooling, and fret aloud that members who do not reflect the fruits of grace may lack faith. Noting that gifts of money and gifts of time are complementary inputs into a household’s production of religiosity, Clain and Zech (1999) claim that the churches suffering from “a financial crisis may in fact be suffering an involvement crisis. Wuthnow echoes similar concerns and contends that “the current financial crisis is, in fact, a spiritual crisis (Wuthnow 1999:68).” According to Wuthnow, mainline clergy and theology are failing to deliver any prophetic vision of how parishioners should think about intersections of faith and money. Why should the crisis impact denominational giving more than local giving? Wuthnow blames an “increasingly localistic orientation in the society at large” and worries that the efforts of mainline denominational leaders are often perceived as “boring, poorly packaged, and devoid of newsworthy content (2000:35).” It is also likely that denominational distinctions look increasingly irrelevant to those sitting in the pews. Denominations once rigidly segregated along social, ethnic, regional, and theological lines have become increasingly similar (Wuthnow 1988). 4 As denominational switching and interdenominational marriages become the norm, parishioners could logically be becoming more concerned with supporting local as opposed to denominational needs. Another group of researchers cite an increasingly large gulf between local parishioners and denominational and/or national leaders. For example, national church officials often enact controversial policies. If political and social statements by the national office make local parishioners squirm, giving to benevolence might suffer (Silk 1998). The argument has intuitive appeal, but no substantive proof. Inskeep (1994) found no local parishioner dissent to explain falling benevolence payments among Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) congregations, nor could he find any measurable effect of clergy discontent with national policies. ELCA congregations led by pastors at odds with national policies gave as much as congregations led by more sympathetic pastors. Klay (1992), Nemeth and Luidens (1994) and Hoge et al. (1996) reach similar conclusions. Alternatively, perhaps the problem is that local parishioners neither understand nor approve of the way in which denominational leaders spend benevolence dollars.1 Why support programs and organizational structures that you neither understand nor trust? The hypotheses certainly seem reasonable, but the evidence is weak. Hoge et al. (1996) queried local laity about their satisfaction with denominational decision-making processes, with information about the way in which denominational leaders handle funds, and with the financial accountability of denominational leaders. However the correlations between these attitudes and individual giving were weak and mixed. Unfortunately, the Hoge et al. results pertain to overall giving by individuals, not to benevolence giving by congregations. Members who are dissatisfied with the denominational finances might continue giving to their local congregations and simply pressure their congregations to keep funds at home rather than send them on as benevolences to the larger church. This could explain why benevolence payments are low, but not necessarily why they are falling. Longitudinal data showing changes in parishioner attitudes over time would be more useful for that. If discontent and concern over national and synodical policies seem unimportant, what about the perceived need for projects funded by benevolence? Might local members see less need for these projects? This is not likely. Many benevolence dollars seed mission congregations in new areas. As mainline denominations lose market share, members should view such efforts as more rather than less important. Other funds provide relief for economically and/or socially deprived groups. Yet the decline in denominational giving relative to local receipts seems impervious to changing economic conditions (Nemeth and Luidens 1994). In addition, Krohn (1995) finds no significant relationship between poverty rates and the ratio of benevolence payments to total congregational receipts. If the benefits of giving to benevolence remain high, perhaps the problem is that other local needs have intensified. The true cost of exporting funds for benevolence is what is lost by not using the funds in-house. Did this change? 5 Several researchers do blame the decline in benevolence on increases in other local costs. Increased percentages going to operating expenses (Inskeep 1994), personnel (Nemeth & Luidens 1994) and capital (Krohn 1995) have been fingered as possible culprits. Knowing that a decrease in the share of benevolence is accompanied by an increase in share going elsewhere is useful, but tells us more about correlation than causation. Did the decrease in benevolence cause the increases elsewhere? Did causation run the other direction? Did something else cause both? According to Chaves (1999), asking what caused the increase in local spending might prove more fruitful than dwelling on what caused the cuts in benevolence. The role of size Changes in congregational size offer one possible explanation. Several previous studies have documented the effect of size on congregational finances. For example, congregations are often beset by free riders, members who happily consume services but who run for cover when asked to contribute. Large congregations are especially vulnerable. The larger the group, the easier it is to hide. Shirking one's proportionate responsibilities is tough in a group of two, but easy in a group of 2,000. For those seeking only marginal commitment, large congregations are the places of choice. Free riders create at least two distinct problems for a religious congregation. First, free riders can be expensive; they raise costs for the more committed members. Free riders might duck when the offering plates pass by, but they are seldom shy about demanding services. Clerics of every stripe can identify families that rarely attend services or contribute funds, yet place disproportionate demands on their time and energy. In addition, free riders demoralize other members of the congregation. Worship services are not discrete spectator events. They are chapters in a congregation's continuing and collective journey of faith. Free-riding members impede that journey. Occasional participants do not appreciate where the congregation has been or where it is going. They do not sing with enthusiasm because the melodies and responses are unfamiliar. They do not pray with conviction because their own commitment is marginal. They do not seek out and greet new visitors because they cannot identify which people are visitors. Committed believers add excitement to worship. Free riders do not. Citing free-rider issues, Sullivan (1985) and Zaleski and Zech (1992) found clear statistical evidence that individuals' religious contributions fall as congregational size rises. Lyle Schaller makes a similar argument and agrees that individual contributions fall as the number of members rises. According to Schaller, members of large congregations often feel their contributions "are unimportant." Also, members "tend to give in response to their perception of need" and, in larger congregations, "it is more difficult for all (or at least most) members to be aware of the financial needs and obligations of the church" (Schaller 1980). 6 Zaleski and Zech (1995) also found strong evidence that giving per member starts to decline as congregation size rises. Using an economic theory of clubs analysis, they argued that large size creates congestion. Because this congestion can lessen the access of individual members to the pastor and staff, decrease the intimacy of interactions among members, and generally overcrowd the facilities, it lowers the value of membership sand cuts the incentives to give. However, being large confers cost advantages as well. Attendance at liturgies, church school classes, youth groups, and Bible studies rarely approaches physical capacity. Adding extra participants almost always lowers the cost per person. Even when capacity is strained, constructing larger facilities often generates economies of scale. A building large enough to handle 1,000 parishioners is not likely to be twice as expensive as one built to accommodate 500. In short, large congregations enjoy a theoretical edge in lower unit costs, but face a theoretical disadvantage in raising revenues. Which impact is stronger? Using a sample of Lutheran congregations in Pennsylvania, Stonebraker (1993) found that the cost advantage of size outweighed the revenue disadvantage. As congregations grew, costs fell faster than revenues per member. As a result, large congregations typically enjoyed more “left over” funds that were available for benevolence. He found that large congregations needed smaller percents of their revenues for operating expense and contributed larger percents to benevolence. Hodgkinson (1999) reported similar results for an interdenominational sample. If these patterns are widespread, they could explain the observed drops in benevolence. Many mainline congregations have been losing members. When congregations lose members they also lose contributions. However cutting program, personnel or facility expenses proportionately is difficult. Such cuts are wrenching and almost impossible in the short run. It is much easier to reduce benevolence payments instead. Shrinking congregations, strapped for cash, might try to balance their books by cutting benevolences. If they struggle to maintain other programs, the share of revenues needed to support operating expense will rise, and the share available to pay benevolences will drop. Data and variable descriptions Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) offer a reasonable laboratory to test this hypothesis. Unlike some denominations, ELCA congregations have considerable freedom in allocating funds to benevolence. Although synod councils might suggest “recommended” levels of benevolence in some cases, pressure to conform is minimal. Congregations are generally free to designate any amount they wish and patterns vary widely. For the current study a 20 percent random sample was drawn from a data set of all ELCA congregations.2 The 2,085 sample congregations reporting consistent data for both 1990 and 1996 were used. Like all data developed and reported by unpaid volunteers, these probably harbor a wide variety of accounting and conceptual errors. 7 Reflecting national ELCA trends, sample congregations reported cuts in both membership and the percent of local revenue paid as benevolence over the 1990 to 1996 period. The average number of confirmed, communing members fell from 275 to 265, the real value of average benevolence payments per congregation fell from $17,674 to $16,091, and the share of receipts going to benevolence fell from 12.0 percent to 10.3 percent. Table I lists descriptive statistics. [Place Table I about here.] Estimation results Ordinary-least-squares regression analysis was employed to check for the expected relationships between congregation size, revenues, operating expense and benevolence. The variables used in regression estimations are: BEN: Total benevolence payments (in real, 1990 dollars). MEM: Number of confirmed, communing members. OPER: Congregational operating expenses (in real, 1990 dollars). REV: Total congregational revenue or receipts (in real, 1990 dollars). INC: Average household 1997 income in relevant zip code area.3 Revenue, costs and benevolence per member Congregational revenue, operating expense and benevolence payments per member were estimated as log-linear functions of membership size and income for both 1990 and 1996.4 The log-linear form was chosen primarily for ease in interpretation. By measuring the variables in logarithmic form, the regression coefficients tell us what percentage change in the dependent variable will result from each one percent change in the independent variable. For example, a coefficient of 2.5 means that every one percent increase in the independent variable will cause a 2.5 percent increase in the dependent variable.5 Other functional forms, including combinations of both linear and quadratic variables, were tested as well. The results were similar, but the other specifications generally gave slightly less significant results. Equations (1) through (6) of Table II report the log-linear results. [Place Table II about here.] All predicted relationships hold. Larger congregations exhibit both lower revenues per member and lower operating expenses per member in both sample years. Free-rider effects and economies of scale are real. And, consistent with earlier findings (Stonebraker 1993), the costs savings enjoyed by large congregations exceed their revenue losses. According to the estimated coefficients, a congregation with twice as many members (or 100 percent more members) would experience a 16 percent advantage in operating expense per member over its smaller counterpart. 8 Its revenue per member would also be lower, but only by eight percent in 1990 and nine percent in 1996. Size also has the expected impact on benevolence. As predicted, many of the net cost savings generated by larger size show up in benevolence. In both years larger congregations paid more benevolence per member than did smaller ones. On average, a congregation with twice as many members paid about 13 percent more benevolence per member in 1990 and about nine percent more in 1996 than did their smaller counterparts. Not surprisingly, income also matters. Congregations in high-income areas attracted enough funds to spend more on both operating expense and benevolence per member. All coefficients are statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level, but the R2 values are relatively low. Membership size and income make a difference, but they do not account for most of the observed cross-sectional variation in operating expense and benevolence payments per member. Operating expense and benevolence as a percent of receipts The share of total receipts going to operating expense and benevolence also depend upon membership size. Equations (1) through (4) of Table III list results for similar set of log-linear estimations. [Place Table III about here.] Large congregations systematically devoted smaller shares of their budgets to operating expenses and larger percents to benevolence. A congregation with twice as many members as another devoted about a 21 percent larger share of its receipts to benevolence than did its smaller counterpart in 1990, and 17 percent more in 1996. In other words, if a small congregation allocated 10 percent of its receipts to benevolence, a congregation twice as large, on average, would have been sending about 12 percent of receipts into benevolence. Interestingly, income has a negative effect on the share of receipts going to both operating expense and benevolence. Krohn (1995) found a similar result for benevolence patterns for a small sample of Presbyterian congregations. He suggested that differences in female labor- participation rates might be the cause. Perhaps higher household incomes were the result of more working wives. With more women in the labor force, local congregations would lose potential volunteers and be forced to substitute with paid staff. This could cause relatively higher operating expenses and relatively less benevolence. However, a recent study by Hoge et al. (1998) found that high-income households actually provided more hours of volunteer service to their congregations than did families with lower incomes. In this Lutheran sample, the share of receipts used for operating expense is negatively related to income as well; not positively related as Krohn might have predicted. There is no evidence that congregations in wealthy areas need disproportionately more staff to offset the loss of workingwomen. 9 Among sample congregations debt service soaks up a larger percent of receipts in high- income areas. But the reason is unclear. Do congregations in richer communities demand physical facilities, financed by debt, that are disproportionately ornate and expensive? Are newer congregations (with newer mortgages) concentrated in high-income suburbs, while older congregations (with retired mortgages) are huddled in poorer rural or inner-city areas? We do not know. Changes in benevolence If levels of benevolence are consistently related to levels of membership across congregations, then changes in benevolence should be related to changes in membership as well. They are (see equations (1) and (2) of Table IV). Changes in membership have positive and significant impacts on both benevolence and the share of receipts being paid as benevolence. When congregations lose members, revenues fall, and they fall faster than expenses. A loss of members means leaner offering plates with few offsetting drops in cost. The pastor must still be paid, the church must still be heated, and the organ must still be repaired. The resulting fiscal squeeze raises the opportunity cost of sending benevolence dollars on to the larger church. [Place Table IV about here.] Note that our measure of benevolence includes both ELCA and “other” (mostly local) benevolence expenditures. Some commentators, for example Amerson et al. (1997), have suggested that denominational restructurings have moved the locus of need from the world and national level to the local level. They contend that congregations might merely be diverting dollars to local mission projects that were formerly sent on to national and/or synodical bodies instead. The current sample provides no evidence to support this contention. The data allow us to separate ELCA benevolence and other (mostly local) benevolence. The trends are quite similar. Both fell as a percent of overall receipts over the 1990 to 1996 period. No such substitution is apparent. Statistical results obtained by substituting ELCA benevolences only as the dependent variable were almost identical in all cases. Membership losses in ELCA congregations over the 1990 to 1996 period caused cuts in both absolute and relative benevolence dollars. However, although changes in membership clearly matter, they explain only a small part of the observed changes in benevolence.6 Discussion What do we know? We know that mainline congregations now channel larger percents of funds into operating expense and smaller percents into benevolence. And we know that membership losses contribute to that shift. To protect staff and maintain current programs, shrinking congregations slash benevolence by disproportionately large amounts. However membership changes explain only a small part of the observed relationships. More is at work and we do not know what it is.7 10 Detailed breakdowns of operating expenses are unavailable for the current sample, but personnel costs often dominate the category.8 Nemeth and Luidens (1994) suggest that costs have soared because congregations must hire extra personnel to replace the volunteers lost when increased numbers of women entered the labor force and to administer specialized programs now demanded by parishioners. Clain and Zech (1999) make a similar point. This does seem plausible. But these effects should be most evident in high-income areas. High-income families are more likely to demand specialized staff administering expensive ministries and, all else equal, more working wives means more family income. Yet, in this sample correlations between regional income and the share of funds used for operating expense are negative, not positive. Alternatively, costs might jump because of increased salaries for the same numbers of personnel. In the secular world, skilled professionals command salary increases in excess of the rate of inflation. To continue attracting talented staff, local congregations must offer the same. Unfortunately, local revenues often do not keep pace with the inflation and congregations might choose to sacrifice benevolence to protect staff salaries. Detailed longitudinal data that can differentiate among these hypotheses would be quite useful. Ultimately it is a matter of priorities. Denominational loyalties are on the decline (Wuthnow 1988), and with few parishioners directly affected by benevolence, benevolence is rarely the priority. The self-interest of congregations is often to keep their own staff and committees happy. 9 Exceptions do exist. Some congregations do make benevolence a top priority. One mainline church official commented privately that pastors held the key to benevolence; that he could trace the movement of pastors from congregation to congregation merely by looking at shifts in congregational benevolence payments. Different people do have different priorities and, in the end, people determine budget allocations. 11 TABLE I: Descriptive sample statistics Median Sample Values* Variable 1990 1996 Confirmed, communing members 275 265 ELCA benevolence $14,698 $13,077 Other benevolence $2,976 $3,014 Total benevolence $17,674 $16,091 Operating expenses $91,528 $98,402 Capital expenses $17,606 $14,083 Debt expenses $11,914 $11,249 Total expenditures $142,983 $144,754 Total receipts $145,618 $148,389 ELCA benevolence/total receipts .103 .088 Other benevolence/total receipts .017 .015 Total benevolence/total receipts .120 .103 Operating expenses/total receipts .730 .755 Capital expenses/total receipts .065 .067 Debt expenses/total receipts .055 .050 * All monetary values are reported in terms of real 1990 dollars. 12 TABLE II: Estimation results: Revenue, operating expense and benevolence per member Dependent variable Independent variables R2 constant log(MEM)1990 log(MEM)1996 log(INC) 1. log(REV/MEM)1990 0.54 -0.08* 0.57* 0.12 (0.34) (0.01) (0.04) 2. log(REV/MEM)1996 0.68* -0.09* 0.56* 0.12 (0.35) (0.01) (0.04) 3. log(OPER/MEM)1990 1.53* -0.16* 0.48* 0.15 (0.54) (0.01) (0.03) 4. log(OPER/MEM)1996 1.44* -0.16* 0.50* 0.15 (0.34) (0.01) (0.03) 5. log(BEN/MEM)1990 -0.82 0.13* 0.38* 0.06 (0.54) (0.02) (0.05) 6. log(BEN/MEM)1996 -0.60 0.09* 0.37* 0.04 (0.59) (0.02) (0.06) The standard errors of the coefficients are in parentheses. * Coefficient is significant at the 95 percent confidence level. 13 TABLE III: Estimation results: Operating expense and benevolence shares Dependent variable Independent variables R2 constant log(MEM)1990 log(MEM)1996 log(INC) 1. log(OPER/REV)1990 0.99* -0.08* -0.09* 0.06 (0.24) (0.01) (0.02) 2. log(OPER/REV)1996 0.75* -0.07* -0.06* 0.06 (0.21) (0.01) (0.02) 3. log(BEN/REV)1990 -1.40* 0.21* -0.19* 0.06 (0.51) (0.02) (0.05) 4. log(BEN/REV)1996 -1.35* 0.17* -0.19* 0.04 (0.51) (0.02) (0.05) The standard errors of the coefficients are in parentheses. * Coefficient is significant at the 95 percent confidence level. 14 TABLE IV: Estimation results: Changes in benevolence Dependent variable Independent variables R2 constant log(MEM) 1. log(BEN) -0.13* 0.62* 0.07 (0.02) (0.06) 2. log(BEN/REV) -0.17* 0.26* 0.01 (0.02) (0.07) The standard errors of the coefficients are in parentheses. * Coefficient is significant at the 95 percent confidence level. 15 Notes: 1. An anonymous referee noted that parishioners sometimes complain that benevolence payments fall into a “black hole” to which “funds are sent and never heard from again.” 2. The sample was drawn from a population of approximately 12,000 ELCA congregations operating in both 1990 and 1996. Kenneth Inskeep, Director of the ELCA's Department of Research and Evaluation, cautions that reporting procedures prior to 1990 make earlier data suspect and less comparable. 3. Income data for 1990 and 1996 would have been preferable, but were not available. 4. All estimates are heteroskedastic-consistent. 5. In the jargon of economics, the coefficients in a log-linear regression are “elasticities.” 6. Krohn (1995) suggests that the effect of size might differ among different-sized congregations. However, regressions run of samples segmented by congregation size yield very similar results. The effect of membership size among ELCA congregations apparently differs from that found among congregations in his Presbyterian sample. 7. Including additional variables might raise the R2 values. An anonymous referee suggested adding a measure of the baptism/funeral ratio as a proxy for a congregation’s youth and vitality. Variables to account for geographic differences might also be useful. Unfortunately, while these variables are often available for ELCA congregations, they were not included in the particular data set used for this study. Hopefully these can be included in future work. 8. In the local ELCA congregation of about 750 confirmed communing members, personnel costs comprise about 75 percent of operating expense. 9. Iannaccone, Olson and Stark (1995) might argue that increased local spending generates faster membership growth that, in turn, benefits the larger church. However, there is no supportive evidence in our sample. The share of revenues used for operating expense is not significantly related to subsequent membership growth. 16 REFERENCES: Amerson, Philip, Edward J. Stephenson, and Jan Shipps. “Decline or Transformation? Another View of Mainline finances.” The Christian Century. Feb. 5, 1997. 114(5):144-152. Chaves, Mark. 1999. “Financing American Religion.” Pp.169-188 in Mark Chaves and Sharon L. Miller (eds.), Financing American Religion. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press. Clain, Suzanne Heller and Charles Zech. 1999. “A Household Production Function Analysis of Religious and Charitable Activity. American Journal of Economics and Sociology. 58:923-939. Hodgkinson, Virginia. 1999. “Financing Religious Congregations: A National View.” Pp.79-96 in Mark Chaves and Sharon L. Miller (eds.), Financing American Religion. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press. Hoge, Dean R., Charles Zech, Patrick McNamara and Michael J. Donahue. 1996. Money Matters: Personal Giving in American Churches. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press. Hoge, Dean R., Charles Zech, Patrick McNamara and Michael J. Donahue. 1998. “The Value of Volunteers as Resources for Congregations.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 37: 470-480. Iannaccone, Laurence R., Daniel Olson and Rodney Stark. 1995. "Religious Resources and Church Growth." Social Forces. 74:705-732. Inskeep, Kenneth W. 1994. "Giving Trends in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America." Review of Religious Research. 36:238-244. Klay, Robin. 1992. "Changing Priorities: Allocation of Giving in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S." Pp. 132-153 in Milton Coulter, John Mulder, and Louis Weeks (eds.), The Organizational Revolution: Presbyterians and American Denominationalism. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press. Krohn, Gregory A. 1995. "The Receipts and Benevolence of Presbyterian Congregations, 1973- 1988." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 34:17-34. Nemeth, Roger J. and Donald A. Luidens. 1994. "Congregational vs. Denominational Giving: An Analysis of Giving Patterns in the Presbyterian Church in the United States and the Reformed Church in America." Review of Religious Research. 36:111-122. Ronsvalle, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle. 1996. Behind the Stained Glass Windows: Money Dynamics in the Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. Ronsvalle, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle. 1997. “The Theological Implications of Church Member Giving Patterns.” Http://www.emptytomb.org/implications.html. Taken from John Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle, The State of Church Giving through 1995. Champaign: Empty Tomb, Inc. Ronsvalle, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle. 1999.“Basic Trends in Religious Giving, 1921-1995.” Pp.11-20 in Mark Chaves and Sharon L. Miller (eds.), Financing American Religion. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press. Schaller, Lyle. 1980. The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church. Nashville: Abington Press. Silk, Mark. 1998. Something New, Something Old. Reflections on a Conference held at Harvard Divinity School, September 5-8, 1996. Hartford: Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life, Trinity College. Stonebraker, Robert J. 1993. "Optimal Church Size: The Bigger the Better?" Journal for the 17 Scientific Study of Religion. 32:231-241. Sullivan, Dennis H. 1985. "Simultaneous Determination of Church Contributions and Church Attendance." Economic Inquiry. 23:309-320. Wuthnow, Robert. 1988. The Restructuring of American Religion. Princeton: Princeton University Press Wuthnow, Robert. 1999. “The Crisis in the Churches.” Pp.67-76 in Mark Chaves and Sharon L. Miller (eds.), Financing American Religion. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press. Wuthnow, Robert. 2000. “The Moral Minority.” The American Prospect. May 22, 2000. 11:31- 37. Zaleski, Peter and Charles Zech. 1992. “”Determinants of Contributions to Religious Organizations: Free Riding and Other Factors.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology. 51:459-473. Zaleski, Peter and Charles Zech. 1995. “The Optimal size of A Religious congregation: An Economic Theory of Clubs Analysis.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology. 54:439-454.
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