Religion and Venture Investing: A Cross-Country Analysis

The Financial Review, Forthcoming

Posted: 8 May 2020

See all articles by Min Maung

Min Maung

University of Saskatchewan

Zhenyang Tang

Clark University

Xiaowei Xu

University of Rhode Island

Date Written: March 6, 2020


Using a sample of 56 countries over the 2000-2016 period, we document lower levels of venture capital investments in more religious countries. These results are not specific to any primary religion. Furthermore, we show that the negative relation between religiosity and venture investing mainly stems from risk aversion inherent in religiosity. Our results are unlikely driven by economic clout, as we show more religious countries in fact have higher levels of domestic credit or non-financial investments, despite lower levels of venture investments. We also present several findings consistent with risk aversion. Venture investments in more religious countries are more likely to have successful exits and are less likely to be foreign or early-stage deals. Our results are robust to different measures of venture investments and religiosity, and to alternative specifications that account for endogeneity.

Keywords: Venture Capital, Risk Aversion, Religion, Religiosity

JEL Classification: G18, G24, Z12

Suggested Citation

Maung, Min and Tang, Zhenyang and Xu, Xiaowei, Religion and Venture Investing: A Cross-Country Analysis (March 6, 2020). The Financial Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Min Maung

University of Saskatchewan ( email )

Edwards School of Business
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A7

Zhenyang Tang (Contact Author)

Clark University ( email )

950 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01610
United States

Xiaowei Xu

University of Rhode Island

Ballentine Hall, 7 Lippitt Road
Kingston, RI 02881
United States

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