Club Mormon : Free-Riders, Monitoring, and Exclusion in the LDS Church
Rationality & Society
The Mormon Church is best understood as a club, in the economic sense of the term. It succeeds, in part, because it identifies and selectively rewards high contributors, thereby limiting free-riding and producing large religious benefits for its members. First, it offers a menu of club goods of varying excludability, with the most valued goods excluded from less-committed members. Second, to enforce this menu, it actively monitors its members using a sophisticated administrative structure.