Church Membership and Social Insurance: Evidence from the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

Discussion Papers on Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, 7/2016

52 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016

See all articles by Philipp Ager

Philipp Ager

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Casper Worm Hansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; University of Copenhagen

Lars Lønstrup

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 1, 2016

Abstract

Religious communities are key providers of social insurance. This paper focuses on the devastating impact of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 to investigate how an increase in the demand for social insurance affects church membership. We find a significant increase in church membership in flooded counties. This effect is stronger in counties with severe economic losses and where access to credit was limited. We also document that fundamental denominations gained more members in flooded counties, which is consistent with the theory of club goods emphasizing the efficient provision of mutual insurance in stricter religious communities.

Keywords: Religion, Informal insurance, Club goods, Natural disasters

JEL Classification: Z12, H40, D70

Suggested Citation

Ager, Philipp and Hansen, Casper Worm and Lønstrup, Lars, Church Membership and Social Insurance: Evidence from the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 (November 1, 2016). Discussion Papers on Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, 7/2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2862290 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2862290

Philipp Ager (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Casper Worm Hansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Copenhagen K, DK 1153
Denmark

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

Lars Lønstrup

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://www.sdu.dk/staff/loe.aspx

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