Betting on the Lord: Lotteries and Religiosity in Haiti

Auriol, Emmanuelle, Delissaint, Diego, Fourati, Maleke, Miquel-Florensa, Josepa and Seabright, Paul (2019) Betting on the Lord: Lotteries and Religiosity in Haiti. TSE Working Paper, n. 19-1053, Toulouse

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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 dened 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 buyer 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 aect 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.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: November 2019
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Uncontrolled Keywords: Risk preferences, Religion, Field Experiment
JEL Classification: C93 - Field Experiments
D81 - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
Z12 - Religion
Subjects: B- ECONOMIE ET FINANCE
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse 1 Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2019 10:14
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2019 10:29
["eprint_fieldname_oai_identifier" not defined]: oai:tse-fr.eu:123740
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/33499

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