Betting on the Lord: Lotteries and Religiosity in Haiti

57 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2019

See all articles by Emmanuelle Auriol

Emmanuelle Auriol

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE); University of Toulouse I - Advanced Research in Quantitative Applied Development Economics (ARQADE); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Delissaint Diego

Université Quisqueya

Maleke Fourati

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics

Josepa Miquel-Florensa

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Paul Seabright

University of Toulouse I - Industrial Economic Institute (IDEI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: December 2019

Abstract

We conducted an experimental study in Haiti testing for the relationship between religious belief and individual risk taking behavior. 774 subjects played lotteries in a standard neutral protocol and subsequently with reduced endowments but in the presence of religious images of Catholic, Protestant and Voodoo tradition. Subjects chose between paying to play a lottery with an image of their choice, and saving their money to play with no image. Those who chose the former are defined as image buyers and those who chose the latter as non-buyers. Image buyers, who tend to be less educated, more rural, and to exhibit greater religiosity, bet more than non-buyers in all games. In addition, in the presence of religious images all participants took more risk, and buyers took more risk when playing in the presence of their chosen images than when playing with other images. We develop a theoretical model calibrated with our experimental data to explore the channels through which religious images might affect risk-taking. Our results suggest that the presence of images tends to increase individuals' subjective probability of winning the lottery, and that subjects therefore believe in a god who intervenes actively in the world in response to their requests.

Keywords: field experiment, religion, risk preferences

JEL Classification: C93, D81, Z12

Suggested Citation

Auriol, Emmanuelle and Diego, Delissaint and Fourati, Maleke and Miquel-Florensa, Josepa and Seabright, Paul, Betting on the Lord: Lotteries and Religiosity in Haiti (December 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14167, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3504596

Emmanuelle Auriol (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

University of Toulouse I - Advanced Research in Quantitative Applied Development Economics (ARQADE) ( email )

21 Allee de Brienne
Toulouse, 31000
France
+33 5 61 12 85 89 (Phone)
+33 5 61 12 86 37 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.idei.asso.fr/English/ECv/CvChercheurs/E

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Delissaint Diego

Université Quisqueya ( email )

118, Av. Jean Paul II
Port-au-Prince, HT
Haiti

Maleke Fourati

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Josepa Miquel-Florensa

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Paul Seabright

University of Toulouse I - Industrial Economic Institute (IDEI) ( email )

Manufacture des Tabacs
21 Allee de Brienne bat. F
Toulouse Cedex, F-31000
France
+33 5 61 12 86 17 (Phone)
+33 5 61 12 86 37 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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