From the Huffington Post:
Observers need only to look to the struggles of the newspaper and music industries to see the difficulty of finding ways to make people pay for services they become accustomed to getting for free. And research indicates that religious institutions that screen out members who lack commitment make the organizations stronger and more attractive because they place a high value on members giving time, talent and treasure. But while attracting new members with free or reduced-price services may be risky investments, allowing free riding also is necessary for the future of the church, some scholars concluded at the recent meeting of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture in Washington. "Committed people aren't just born," Michael McBride of the University of California, Irvine, said in a presentation on "Why Churches Need Free Riders."

For the full story, please visit

connect with us


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766