Randomizing Religion: The Impact of Protestant Evangelism on Economic Outcomes

80 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2018

See all articles by Gharad Bryan

Gharad Bryan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

James J. Choi

Yale School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dean S. Karlan

Yale University; Innovations for Poverty Action; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

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 analyze 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: economics, poverty, religion

JEL Classification: D12, I30, O12

Suggested Citation

Bryan, Gharad and Choi, James J. and Karlan, Dean S., Randomizing Religion: The Impact of Protestant Evangelism on Economic Outcomes (March 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12810. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3149483

Gharad Bryan (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

James J. Choi

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Dean S. Karlan

Yale University ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

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New Haven, CT 20009
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )

E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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