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Association of Christian Economists 25th Anniversary Conference

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Credit: Wall Street, 13th October 1857 (oil on canvas) by J.H. Cafferty (1819-69) & Rosenburg, C.(fl.1852-66) Museum of the City of New York, USA/ The Bridgeman Art Library Nationality / copyright status: American / out of copyright

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Three Perspectives on Economics and Faith

Thursday, April 16—Saturday, April 18, 2009

Three Perspectives on Economics and Faith|Image: MNY87937|Credit: Wall Street, 13th October 1857 (oil on canvas) by J.H. Cafferty (1819-69) & Rosenburg, C.(fl.1852-66) © Museum of the City of New York, USA/ The Bridgeman Art Library Nationality / copyright status: American / out of copyright

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Program Description

For twenty-five years, the Association of Christian Economists has encouraged Christian scholars to explore and communicate the relationship between their faith and the discipline of economics and to promote interaction and communication among Christian economists. This anniversary conference will celebrate and continue that tradition.

The conference is organized around three scholarly perspectives in the integration of faith and economics. These perspectives have figured prominently in the quarter century of conference presentations and journal articles published in Faith & Economics by the Association of Christian Economists.

  1. Faithful Economics
    Incorporation of topics informed by religious values and presuppositions into mainstream economic analysis and research. This includes areas such as poverty, health care, migration, the environment, etc. Faithful economics involves "widening the mainstream."
  2. Economics of Religion
    Application of mainstream techniques of economics to the study of religion and the impact of religion. The rational choice model of decision-making is central to the economics of religion. Topics include the organization and function of religious organizations and religious markets, as well as the effects of religious beliefs and practices on economic and social outcomes.
  3. Heterodoxy
    The critique of mainstream economics from Christian perspectives. Dominant traditions in economics that are critiqued include the rational choice model, utilitarian underpinnings of the discipline, and aspects of the use of econometrics. Heterodox economists tend to favor models of economic agents as moral decision-makers with differing amounts of economic power and a wider use of historical economics as a method of empirical validation.

For each of these themes there will be a plenary speaker. There will also be a plenary closing panel discussion for each of the themes.

Plenary Speakers

Rodney Stark: "New Religions: The Opium of the Privileged"

Rodney Stark

Rodney Stark is University Professor of the Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Stark is past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. His books include Cities of God; Discovering God; The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism and Western Success; One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism; The Churching of America, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy; and The Rise of Christianity. These award winning books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

Arthur C. Brooks: "What Do Markets Need to Work? Faith, Hope, and Charity"
Plenary address for "Faithful Economics" conference theme.

Arthur Brooks

In July of 2008, Arthur C. Brooks was chosen to be the eleventh president of the American Enterprise Institute. Prior to this appointment, Brooks served as visiting scholar at AEI and the Louis Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. Following a twelve-year career as a professional musician, Arthur Brooks earned his doctorate in Public Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Professor Brooks' scholarship has investigated the connections between culture, politics, and economic life in America. His relatively short academic career has brought a continuing stream of journal articles. His most recent books are Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America--and How We Can Get More of It; Social Entrepreneurship: A Modern Guide to Social Value Creation; and Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism.

Laurence R. Iannaccone: "The Economics of Religion: Invest Now, Repent Later"
Plenary address for "Economics of Religion" conference theme.

Laurence Iannaccone

Laurence R. Iannaccone is the Koch Professor of Economics at George Mason University. Iannaccone earned his M.S. in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. In numerous publications, Iannaccone has applied economic insights to study denominational growth, church attendance, religious giving, conversion, extremism, international trends, and many other aspects of religion and spirituality. Since coming to George Mason University in 2002, Iannaccone has established a yearly international conference on "Religion, Economics, and Culture," an interdisciplinary Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture (ASREC), and most recently the Consortium for the Economic Study of Religion (CESR).

John P. Tiemstra: "Notes from the Revolution: Principles of a New Economics"
Plenary address for "Heterodoxy" conference theme.

John Tiemstra

John P. Tiemstra is Professor of Economics at Calvin College. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to serving the Association of Christian Economists in a variety of capacities, Professor Tiemstra is the most recent past-president of the Association for Social Economics. Professor Tiemstra's research has focused on methodological issues surrounding the integration of Christianity and economics. His teaching responsibilities have included a "Christianity and Economics" course. Tiemstra is the author of many journal articles and also the books Reforming Economics: Calvinist Studies on Methods and Institution and Economics: A Developmental Approach. The latter is a one-semester economics textbook.


Thursday, April 16

5:00-7:00 p.m. Cashion Fifth Floor

Registration and Social Time

7:00-9:00 p.m. Cashion Fifth Floor, Banquet Room

Dinner and Plenary Speaker
Early Christianity: 'Opium' of the Privileged?
Rodney Stark, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University
Click here to watch video of this presentation (hosted by the Hankamer School of Business)

Friday, April 17

7:30-8:30 a.m. Cashion Fifth Floor, Conference Room

Continental Breakfast

8:30-9:30 a.m. Cashion Fifth Floor, Banquet Room

Plenary Speaker on theme of Faithful Economics

What Do Markets Need to Work? Faith, Hope, and Charity
Arthur C. Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute
Click here to watch video of this presentation (hosted by the Hankamer School of Business)

9:30-10:00 a.m.


10:00-11:30 a.m.

First Concurrent Session

Faithful Economics--Cashion Fifth Floor, Conference Room

  • Douglas Schwalm, Illinois State University, Economics: Welfare Effects of Direct to Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals
  • Earl Grinols, Baylor University, Economics: Public Financing More for the Health Care Dollar
  • Paul E. McNamara, University of Illinois, Economics: Identifying Rural Areas with the Poorest Access to Health Care: A Comparison of the Inclusive Value Approach with Rural Health Rules of Thumb and Geographic Approaches

Faithful Economics--Cashion Fifth Floor, Seminary Room

  • Bruce Webb, Gordon College, Economics: The Subprime Mortgage Debacle: Causes, Culprits, and Cures
  • Paul Koch, Olivet Nazarene University, Economics: Animal Spirits in the 21st Century: The Role of Global Asset Bubbles in the Current Financial Crisis
  • Tim Barnett, Jacksonville State University, Political Science: The Role of Wall Street in Money Supply Dynamics
  • William Polley, Western Illinois University, Economics: The Role of the Federal Reserve in the Financial Crisis

Economics of Religion--Cashion 306

  • Carol Gwin (Carl Gwin), Pepperdine University, Marketing: The Impact of Religiosity on Consumer Spending, Saving, and Donations
  • Robert Black, Houghton College, Economics: Economic Efficiency in Old Testament and New Testament Principles
  • Todd Steen, Hope College, Economics: The Impact of Religious Upbringing on Earnings: Does It Change over Time?

Heterodox Economics--Cashion 400

  • Nancy Ruth Fox, Saint Joseph's University, Economics: Hekhsher Tzedek: Answering to a Higher Authority
  • Scott E. Bryant, Baylor University, Religion: The Economic Policy of Walter Rauschenbusch's Social Gospel
  • Timothy J. Sandoval, Chicago Theological Seminary, Theology: Beyond Simple Retribution: George Lakoff and Economic Rhetoric as Moral Metaphor in the Book of Proverbs

11:30-1:00 p.m. Cashion Fifth Floor, Banquet Room

Lunch and Plenary Speaker on Theme of Economics of Religion

The Economics of Religion: Invest Now, Repent Later
Laurence R. Iannaccone, Koch Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Director of the Center for the Economic Study of Religion.
Click here to watch video of this presentation (hosted by the Hankamer School of Business)

1:30-3:00 p.m.

Second Concurrent Session

Faithful Economics--Cashion 306

  • Andrew M. Yuengert, Pepperdine University, Economics: Taking Satiation Seriously
  • Jonathan Deming, Seattle Pacific University, Economics: Quasi-hyperbolic Discounting and the Economics of Addiction: Why Is It So Hard for the Rich Man to Enter Heaven
  • Walter Schultz, Northwestern College, Economics: Arrow's Theorem, Sen's Paradox and a Social Decision Mechanism for Optimal Market Outcomes

Faithful Economics--Cashion 311

  • Adel Abadeer, Calvin College, Economics: How Informal Norms Marginalize Women in Less Developed Countries: A New Institutional Economic Analysis
  • Emily Kerr, Baylor University, Masters Candidate in Economics: Micro-Credit and Household Productivity: Evidence from Bangladesh
  • John E. Charalambakis, David Coulliette and Ken Rietz, Asbury College: Collateralization of Assets, Over-Extension of Credit, and Free Trade: An Empirical Analysis in Search of Justice and an Expanding Middle Class
  • Michael McGuire, Nursen Zanca, Fadi Fawaz, Luz Romay, David Mitchell, University of the Incarnate Word, Economics: World Bank Tax Advice: Does It Foster Equitable Development?

Economics of Religion--Cashion 309

  • Charles North (Wafa Orman and Carl Gwin), Baylor University, Economics: Mom and Dad Took Me to Church
  • Kurt C. Schaefer, Calvin College, Economics: The Economic Context of the New Testament Household Codes
  • Tisha Emerson (Joseph McKinney), Baylor University, Economics: Religious Faith and Ethical Attitudes in Business

Heterodox Economics--Cashion 307

  • Andy Hartropp, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (UK), Theology: How a Biblically Rooted Understanding Can Enable Economists to Think about Justice
  • Doug Downing, Seattle Pacific University, Economics: The Consequences of Misunderstanding the Cause of Poverty
  • John D. Mueller, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Center Director: The Restoration of Economic Orthodoxy: The Outline of Neo-Scholastic 'AAA' Economics
  • Jeffrey Young, St. Lawrence University, Economics: What Should Christian Economists Think about Adam Smith?

3:00-3:30 p.m.


3:30-5:00 p.m. Cashion 303

Roundtable Discussion on Theme of Faithful Economics

  • Paul McNamara, University of Illinois
  • Edd Noell, Westmont College
  • John Mason, Gordon College
  • Nancy Fox, St. Joseph's University

5:00-5:30 p.m.


5:30-7:00 p.m.

Third Concurrent Session

Skepticism on Christian Scholarship in Economics--Cashion 305

  • James Hartley, Mount Holyoke College, Economics: Time to Bury the Christian Economics Experiment
  • John Stapleford, Eastern College, Economics: Christian Perspectives on Economics: Are We Just Preaching to the Choir?

Faithful Economics--Cashion 307

  • Edd Noell, Westmont College, Economics: Borrower Beware, Lender Beware: Subprime Mortgage Loans and Moral Reflections on Credit in the Scholastic Tradition
  • John D. Mason, Gordon College, Economics: Only in America: Tiebout-Sorting & Socio-Economic Upward Mobility
  • John E. Anderson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Economics: Samaritans and Disasters

Economics of Religion--Cashion 309

  • David Mustard, University of Georgia, Economics: A Postsecondary Revival of Christian Education
  • Lynn Hunnicutt, Pacific Lutheran University, Economics: Religious Non-Governmental Organizations and Economic Development: The Influence of Religious Affiliation, Structure, and Culture on Organizational Effectiveness
  • Thomas Watts, University of Texas at Arlington, Social Work: Faith-Based Organizations and the National Social Research Board

Heterodox Economics--Cashion 311

  • Charles Clark, St. John's University, Economics: What Can Economists Learn from Catholic Social Thought?
  • James Halteman, Wheaton College, Economics: The Decline and Restoration of Moral Reflection in Economics
  • Greg Krohn, Bucknell University, Economics: A Place for Religious Ethics in Economics

Heterodox Economics--Cashion 306

  • Jeffrey M. Herbener, Grove City College, Economics: Blessed Are Those Who Walk in the Law of the Lord: Economic Law and the State
  • Shawn Ritenour, Grove City College, Economics: Fulfilling the Cultural Mandate: Toward a Free and Prosperous Commonwealth
  • Timothy D. Terrell, Wofford College, Economics: Calvin's Legacy in Economic Policy

7:00-8:30 p.m. Cashion Fifth Floor, Banquet Room

Dinner and Plenary Speaker on the theme of Heterodoxy
Notes from the Revolution: Principles of a New Economics
John P. Tiemstra, Professor of Economics at Calvin College
Click here to watch video of this presentation (hosted by the Hankamer School of Business)

Saturday, April 18

7:30-8:30 a.m. Cashion Fifth Floor, Conference Room

Continental breakfast

8:30-10:00 a.m. Cashion 303

Roundtable Discussion on Theme of Economics of Religion

  • Laurence Iannaccone, George Mason University
  • David Mustard, University of Georgia
  • Stephen Smith, Gordon College
  • Charles North, Baylor University

10:00-10:15 a.m.


10:15 a.m.-11:45 p.m.

Faithful Economics--Cashion 305

  • J. David Richardson, Syracuse University, Economics: Entry and Exit Equilibria Among For-Profit, Not-For-Profit, and Business-as-Mission Firms
  • Jose Juan Bautista, Xavier University of Louisiana, Economics: Moral Decisions in the Practice of Price Discrimination
  • Raúl González-Fabre, Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Spain), Economics: Agent-Based Computer Economics as a Tool for Dialogue Between Christian Ethics and Microeconomics

Heterodox Economics--Cashion 311

  • Kim Hawtrey (John Lunn) Hope College, Economics: The Socio-Economic Ideas of the Emerging Church: Some Reflections
  • Robin J. Klay (Todd J. Steen), Hope College, Economics: Christian Hope: Reflections from Two Economists
  • Victor V. Claar, Hope College, Economics: Strategies for Engaging the Emerging Church in Dialogue Regarding Fair Trade
  • Robert Mochrie, Heriot-Watt University (UK), Economics: Fair Trade, Just Price, and Charity

Heterodox Economics--Cashion 309

  • Charles McDaniel, Baylor University, Church State Studies: Christian Values and Financial Crisis: Distributism's Relevance to Global Economic Instability
  • Daniel Skubik, California Baptist University, Law and Ethics: Are Credit Card Interest Rates Blasphemous? Usury in Judeo-Christian-Islamic Perspective
  • Mitsunobu Miyahira, Mondo Bible Church (Nishinomiya City, Japan): Theology, Multiple Aspects of Life Insurance Relating to the Sex-Discrimination Problem

Marriage and Family--Cashion 307

  • John Larrivee, Mount St. Mary's University, Economics: Markets and Marriage: To What Extent Are Economic Factors Responsible for Family Decline?
  • Joseph Burke (Catherine Pakaluk), Ave Maria University, Economics: Contraception, Marriage, and Promiscuity: The Impact of the Pill on the Family

Christianity and the Economics Classroom--Cashion 303

  • Gabriel Martinez, Ave Maria University, Economics: Economics in a Catholic Christian Liberal Arts University
  • John Pisciotta, Baylor University, Economics: Do Courses in Economics Contribute to "The Abolition of Man"?
  • Kenneth Elzinga, University of Virginia, Economics: Teaching Christianity and Economics: Confessions of a First-Time Offender

11:45-1:45 p.m. Cashion Fifth Floor Banquet Room

Lunch and Roundtable Discussion on Theme of Heterodoxy

  • John Tiemstra, Calvin College
  • Gabriel Martinez, Ave Maria University
  • Robbie Mochrie, Heriot-Watt University
  • Andrew Yuengert, Pepperdine University

Steering Committee

  • Paul Glewwe, Professor of Applied Economics at University of Minnesota
  • Earl Grinols, Distinguished Professor of Economics at Baylor University
  • James Henderson, Ben Williams Professor of Economics and Academic Director of Healthcare Administration at Baylor University
  • John Pisciotta, Associate Professor of Economics at Baylor University and Conference Director
  • Andrew Yuengert, Professor of Economics at Pepperdine University
  • Bruce Webb, Professor of Economics at Gordon College


Funding for this conference is made possible by:

  • Earl Grinols, Distinguished Professor of Economics, Baylor University
  • The Department of Economics and the Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University
  • The Institute for the Studies of Religion, Baylor University
  • Baylor Horizons Grant Initiative, administered by the Institute for Faith and Learning, Baylor University

Administrative support is provided in part by the Institute for Faith and Learning.

Please direct inquiries about the conference to:

Dr. John Pisciotta
Department of Economics
Baylor University
One Bear Place #98003
Waco, TX 76798-8003
(254) 710-6224