Insuring Consumption and Happiness through Religious Organizations

54 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2005  

Rajeev H. Dehejia

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo

Thomas DeLeire

Professor; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Erzo F. P. Luttmer

Dartmouth College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2005

Abstract

This paper examines whether involvement with religious organizations insures an individual's stream of consumption and of happiness. Using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX), we examine whether households who contribute to a religious organization are able to insure their consumption stream against income shocks and find strong insurance effects for whites. Using the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), we examine whether individuals who attend religious services are able to insure their stream of happiness against income shocks and find strong happiness insurance effects for blacks but smaller effects for whites. Overall, our results are consistent with the view that religion provides an alternative form of insurance for both whites and blacks though the mechanism by which religious organizations provide insurance to each of these groups appears to be different.

Keywords: Economics - Microeconomics, Welfare/Health Care/Social Policy

Suggested Citation

Dehejia, Rajeev H. and DeLeire, Thomas and Luttmer, Erzo F. P., Insuring Consumption and Happiness through Religious Organizations (August 2005). KSG Working Paper No. RWP05-047. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=800125 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.800125

Rajeev H. Dehejia

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://users.nber.org/~rdehejia/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://users.nber.org/~rdehejia/

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

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Germany

CESifo ( email )

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Germany

Thomas DeLeire

Professor ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Erzo F.P. Luttmer (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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