Economics of American Judaism
Routledge – 2008 – 176 pages
This book collects in one readily-accessible volume the pioneering research of Carmel U. Chiswick on the Economics of American Judaism. Filling a major gap in the social-scientific literature, Chiswick’s economic perspective complements that of other social scientists and historians. She demonstrates clearly that economic analysis can deepen our understanding of the historical experience of American Jewry and provide insights into its current situation.
The author applies the methodology of modern labor economics to examine how America's unique economic environment in the twentieth century provided a context for the ancient Jewish religion to adapt to new circumstances. The development of distinctively American synagogue movements is linked to the economic assimilation of American Jews and their rapidly rising levels of education, social assimilation, and changing family structure. The economic perspective gives a fresh insight into questions of the long-run viability of Judaism in America. In a final section, economic analysis is applied in a novel way to highlight the symbiotic relationship between American and Israeli Judaism.
Overview 1. Introduction 2. First Approach: The Economics of American Judaism 3. A Retrospective: The Economics of American Judaism Immigrants 4. The Economics of Jewish Immigrants and Judaism in the United States 5. Economic Transformation of American Jewry (with Barry R. Chiswick) Marriage and the Family 6. The Economics of Contemporary American Jewish Family Life 7. Determinants of Religious Intermarriage: Are Jews Really Different? Jewish Continuity 8. An Economic Perspective on Religious Education: Complements and Substitutes in a Human Capital Portfolio 9. The Cost of Living Jewishly and Jewish Continuity (with Barry R. Chiswick) 10. The Economics of Jewish Continuity Israel and American Jewry 11. Impact of the Six-Day War on American Jewry: An Economic Perspective 12. Israel and American Jewry in the Year 2020: An Economic Analysis 13. Immigrant Impacts on Israel’s Labor Force: Implications for Economic Development
Carmel U. Chiswick is Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois, Chicago.