This article studies the economic analysis of the religious facts present in Smith’s work from the perspective of regulation economics. This marks the starting point of a new research program that focuses on the existence of markets of beliefs and questions the secularization processes and public performances on religion. In the first part, two basic problems are tackled: (1) the rationality of the agents within this market and (2) the economic effects of the different market structures on the behavior of the agents. The second part deals with the normative consequences that are possible from the previous exposition on the regulation of the markets of religion. Overall, our approach allows us to establish the fundamental components of the economic analysis of the religious facts and their consequences on that regulation.
José Atilano Pena López and José Manuel Sánchez Santos, "Smithian Perspective on the Markets of Beliefs: Public Policies and Religion," Journal of Markets & Morality 11, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 59-76