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May 16, 2011


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It would be interesting to see if church where clergy are primarily placed, not chosen by congregations, has a similar salary pattern. But all the examples i know there is much greater organizational control by a central methodist churches where pastors are placed by the bishops.

My understanding is that the UMC does have higher salaries...but the organization that makes the clergy selections has much more control over the local, vs a situation of competing and independent synagogues.


Isn't this exactly the same thing that medical schools and residency programs do? Of course I argued that the National Residency Matching Program is anti-competitive and violative of Sherman Act (at least it did until Congress gave the NRMP blanket antitrust immunity).

Kim Krawiec

Hi Dr – I think my answer has to be that I don’t know enough about the medical residency matching program to really answer your question meaningfully. I have certainly always assumed that the residency matching program was not anticompetitive in either intent or effect – or, at least, that any anticompetitive effects are outweighed by the pro-competitive benefits associated with generating better matches. But it sounds as if you have reason to believe differently. Does the residency-matching program operate as a group boycott? Are there penalties against non-participants?

I can say that the paper does not at all suggest that all centralized placement or matching programs would – or should – run afoul of the Sherman Act. Merely that the particular restrictions (and means of enforcing them) adopted by the RA do not further the stated pro-competitive goals, and that some of the stated goals are, in any event, not ones supported by Sherman Act case law. The paper goes into more detail about the reasons for this than I can really do justice to in a blog post.

You raise a good question, slycivilian. The paper does mention some comparative salary statistics for other religious clergy. But it doesn’t go into any detail that I recall in terms of comparing the various placement methods.

Eric Muller

Up until now I've used the "murderer-of-parents-pleading-for-court's-mercy-because-he's-an-orphan" definition of "chutzpah," but Barak's taking on The Rabbinate might just displace it! :-)


Good one, Muller! But Richman is dealing with a religious organization here. I'm not surprised at all that the RA wants to have it's religion and its churches run a certain way and to have a certain feel.

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