God Insures Those Who Pay? Formal Insurance and Religious Offerings in Ghana

100 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2020

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)

Julie Lassebie

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Amma Panin

World Bank

Eva Raiber

Aix-Marseille University - Aix-Marseille School of Economics

Paul Seabright

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

Date Written: January 2020

Abstract

This paper provides experimental support for the hypothesis that insurance can be a motive for religious donations. We randomize enrollment of members of a Pentecostal church in Ghana into a commercial funeral insurance policy. Then church members allocate money between themselves and a set of religious goods in a series of dictator games with signicant stakes. Members enrolled in insurance give signicantly less money to their own church compared to members that only receive information about the insurance. Enrollment also reduces giving towards other spiritual goods. We set up a model exploring different channels of religiously based insurance. The implications of the model and the results from the dictator games suggest that adherents perceive the church as a source of insurance and that this insurance is derived from beliefs in an interventionist God. Survey results suggest that material insurance from the church community is also important and we hypothesize that these two insurance channels exist in parallel.

Keywords: Charitable Giving, economics of religion, Informal Insurance

JEL Classification: D14, G22, O12, O17, Z12

Suggested Citation

Auriol, Emmanuelle and Lassebie, Julie and Panin, Amma and Raiber, Eva and Seabright, Paul, God Insures Those Who Pay? Formal Insurance and Religious Offerings in Ghana (January 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14301. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3518643

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

Julie Lassebie

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Amma Panin

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Eva Raiber

Aix-Marseille University - Aix-Marseille School of Economics ( email )

2 rue de la Charité
Marseille, 13236
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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