Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Government Funded - Church Provided Social Services Part 1

How people view the favorability of government financed church services will be one chapter of the dissertation I have been working on. In particular I want to understand the factors that cause people to support providing funds to churches as well as oppose the government providing funds to churches for social services.

What kinds of factors you ask? At present the broad categories under consideration are: religious beliefs, political beliefs, demographic characteristics and efficiency. Using the Religion and Public Life Surveys from the Pew Research Foundation I will explain each items included in each of the categories for those who are interested,

Religion - frequency of church attendance, frequency of interaction with church community, frequency of prayer, faith and/or ecclesial affiliation,  etc.

Political - their party id, are they a registered voter, have they volunteered with political organizations, etc.

Demographic - age, gender, race, education level, marital status, and income. I know that income needs to be adjusted for purchasing power. 30,000 in San Francisco is not much but will stretch out like salt water taffy in Huntsville Alabama.

Efficiency - whether the person believes that churches can provide social services in a more efficient manner. Unfortunately for me this question is only included in the Religion and Public Life 2001 survey and the Baylor 2005 survey. Currently I am looking into some methods for imputing the value to the other samples.

There are a number of wrinkles I have considered. I'll provide an example, given that I have data on favorability for 2001, 2005, and 2008 I could use some spatial econometrics to understand how favorability as changed across different regions. This could be problematic because the question wording is not identical across years but I'm letting the ideas simmer.

There will be more to come over the next several months.

No comments: