This paper considers substitution between charitable activities in the context of religious practice by examining the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal's impact on both Catholic and non-Catholic religiosity. I find a fall in the Catholic population compensated by increases in non-Catholic participation and nonaffiliation. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest the scandal generated about $3 billion dollars in donations to non-Catholic faiths. Those leaving Catholicism frequently chose dissimilar alternatives: Baptist churches gained significantly while the Episcopal Church did not. These results challenge several theories of religiosity and suggest that policies or shocks specific to one religious group could have effects on other groups.
"Substitution and Stigma: Evidence on Religious Markets from the Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Cultural Economics: Religion