Financing of the National Churches in the Nordic Countries, England and Scotland

Sidsel Kjems, Trine Bille

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article analyses the financing of seven national churches in a large comparative study. The national churches in the Nordic countries and in England and Scotland are compared. They have many similarities in terms of history, intertwinement with the state, type and level of religiosity of the population, public role and public responsibilities, but the level of financing differs greatly.
The purpose of the article is to discuss possible explanations for the differences in the level of financing. Adjusting for cost of public service tasks and for GDP leaves a large difference in financing among the seven national churches. We suggest that the source of finance is a determinant factor for the level of finance of national churches. Comparing the sources and level of financing of seven national churches in the Nordic countries, England and Scotland shows that financing by a taxation right yields larger revenue for a national church than financing by general tax over the state or municipality budgets. Tax-deductible, private donations yield the lowest revenue of the three financing models. Classical economic theory finds it hard to explain why the old established churches in Denmark, Sweden
and Finland has a much higher level of finance than Church of England and Church of Scotland, as all churches mainly are financed by voluntary contributions. We will draw on the theory of choice architecture to explain the phenomenon.
This article analyses the financing of seven national churches in a large comparative study. The national churches in the Nordic countries and in England and Scotland are compared. They have many similarities in terms of history, intertwinement with the state, type and level of religiosity of the population, public role and public responsibilities, but the level of financing differs greatly.
The purpose of the article is to discuss possible explanations for the differences in the level of financing. Adjusting for cost of public service tasks and for GDP leaves a large difference in financing among the seven national churches. We suggest that the source of finance is a determinant factor for the level of finance of national churches. Comparing the sources and level of financing of seven national churches in the Nordic countries, England and Scotland shows that financing by a taxation right yields larger revenue for a national church than financing by general tax over the state or municipality budgets. Tax-deductible, private donations yield the lowest revenue of the three financing models. Classical economic theory finds it hard to explain why the old established churches in Denmark, Sweden
and Finland has a much higher level of finance than Church of England and Church of Scotland, as all churches mainly are financed by voluntary contributions. We will draw on the theory of choice architecture to explain the phenomenon.

Conference

ConferenceThe 8th Nordic Conference on Cultural Policy Research
Number8
LocationUniversity of Jyväskylä
CountryFinland
CityHelsinki
Period23/08/201725/08/2017
Internet address

Bibliographical note

CBS Library does not have access to the material

Keywords

  • Choice architecture
  • Behavioural economics
  • Choice environment
  • Church tax
  • Financing of churches

Cite this

Kjems, S., & Bille, T. (2017). Financing of the National Churches in the Nordic Countries, England and Scotland. Paper presented at The 8th Nordic Conference on Cultural Policy Research, Helsinki, Finland.
Kjems, Sidsel ; Bille, Trine. / Financing of the National Churches in the Nordic Countries, England and Scotland. Paper presented at The 8th Nordic Conference on Cultural Policy Research, Helsinki, Finland.29 p.
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Kjems, S & Bille, T 2017, 'Financing of the National Churches in the Nordic Countries, England and Scotland' Paper presented at, Helsinki, Finland, 23/08/2017 - 25/08/2017, .

Financing of the National Churches in the Nordic Countries, England and Scotland. / Kjems, Sidsel; Bille, Trine.

2017. Paper presented at The 8th Nordic Conference on Cultural Policy Research, Helsinki, Finland.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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N2 - This article analyses the financing of seven national churches in a large comparative study. The national churches in the Nordic countries and in England and Scotland are compared. They have many similarities in terms of history, intertwinement with the state, type and level of religiosity of the population, public role and public responsibilities, but the level of financing differs greatly.The purpose of the article is to discuss possible explanations for the differences in the level of financing. Adjusting for cost of public service tasks and for GDP leaves a large difference in financing among the seven national churches. We suggest that the source of finance is a determinant factor for the level of finance of national churches. Comparing the sources and level of financing of seven national churches in the Nordic countries, England and Scotland shows that financing by a taxation right yields larger revenue for a national church than financing by general tax over the state or municipality budgets. Tax-deductible, private donations yield the lowest revenue of the three financing models. Classical economic theory finds it hard to explain why the old established churches in Denmark, Swedenand Finland has a much higher level of finance than Church of England and Church of Scotland, as all churches mainly are financed by voluntary contributions. We will draw on the theory of choice architecture to explain the phenomenon.

AB - This article analyses the financing of seven national churches in a large comparative study. The national churches in the Nordic countries and in England and Scotland are compared. They have many similarities in terms of history, intertwinement with the state, type and level of religiosity of the population, public role and public responsibilities, but the level of financing differs greatly.The purpose of the article is to discuss possible explanations for the differences in the level of financing. Adjusting for cost of public service tasks and for GDP leaves a large difference in financing among the seven national churches. We suggest that the source of finance is a determinant factor for the level of finance of national churches. Comparing the sources and level of financing of seven national churches in the Nordic countries, England and Scotland shows that financing by a taxation right yields larger revenue for a national church than financing by general tax over the state or municipality budgets. Tax-deductible, private donations yield the lowest revenue of the three financing models. Classical economic theory finds it hard to explain why the old established churches in Denmark, Swedenand Finland has a much higher level of finance than Church of England and Church of Scotland, as all churches mainly are financed by voluntary contributions. We will draw on the theory of choice architecture to explain the phenomenon.

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Kjems S, Bille T. Financing of the National Churches in the Nordic Countries, England and Scotland. 2017. Paper presented at The 8th Nordic Conference on Cultural Policy Research, Helsinki, Finland.