Randomizing Religion: The Impact of Protestant Evangelism on Economic Outcomes
78 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 23, 2018
To test the causal impact of religiosity, we conducted a randomized evaluation of an evangelical Protestant Christian values and theology education program that consisted of 15 weekly half-hour sessions. We analyzed outcomes for 6,276 ultra-poor Filipino households six months after the program ended. We find significant increases in religiosity and income, no significant changes in total labor supply, assets, consumption, food security, or life satisfaction, and a significant decrease in perceived relative economic status. Exploratory analysis suggests the program may have improved hygienic practices and increased household discord, and that the income treatment effect may operate through increasing grit.
Keywords: religion, economics, poverty
JEL Classification: D12, I30, O12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation