Friday, April 14, 2006

Economics forecast: High attendance on Easter Sunday

And why will attendance be high on Easter Sunday compared to your average Sunday? The quantity of bottoms filling the pews will be the equilibrium of supply and demand. So will attendance high because of demand factors or supply factors?


Chris Giles explains in his Holy Week column for The Financial Times:
As any Christian will tell you, Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and the faithful celebrate his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Hang on a minute, say economists.

Sure, the spike in church attendance on Easter Sunday results, in part, from the special pleasure people derive from marking Easter in church. But the supply-side product enhancements many churches offer in holy week - special choral and flower arrangements and the increased networking opportunities that come with a full house - also help to tilt the cost-benefit balance towards Easter Sunday attendance.

As a result, religious observance falls below average in the weeks following Easter as the semi-regular worshippers who shifted their attendance to holy week drop away.
My emphasis. Thanks to grapeshisha for emailing the link.

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