Poster Paper: Social Action VS. Public Action: What Is the Relationship between Welfare Spending and Church Spending?

Friday, March 9, 2018
Burkle Lobby, First Floor (Burkle Family Building at Claremont Graduate University)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Carmen Sainz Villalba, University of California, San Diego

This paper studies the relationship between church spending and government spending in the provision of social services. Taking the data from programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) at the county level from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and gathering data from the United Methodist Church, at the church level, we do a cross-section analysis for the states of Alabama and Mississippi in 2016. We find that government spending is significantly associated with church spending, although the relationship is low, one dollar increase in government spending would reduce 1 cent church spending. We also gather data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a national survey that asks people whether they would like their state to increase welfare spending or not. We find that both church spending, welfare spending and a dummy variable that identifies the respondent as Agnostic or Atheist are significantly associated with perception, nevertheless when performing a logit regression, the only significant variable is the income of the respondent.