Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 165–183 | Cite as

Risk aversion and religion

  • Charles N. Noussair
  • Stefan T. Trautmann
  • Gijs van de Kuilen
  • Nathanael Vellekoop


We use a dataset for a demographically representative sample of the Dutch population that contains a revealed preference risk attitude measure, as well as detailed information about participants’ religious background, to study three issues. First, we find strong confirmatory evidence that more religious people, as measured by church membership or attendance, are more risk averse with regard to financial risks. Second, we obtain some evidence that Protestants are more risk averse than Catholics in such tasks. Third, our data suggest that the link between risk aversion and religion is driven by social aspects of church membership, rather than by religious beliefs themselves.


Risk aversion Religion Catholicism Protestantism 

JEL Classifications

C91 C93 D81 Z12 



Stefan Trautmann and Gijs van de Kuilen’s research was supported by VENI grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). In this paper use is made of data of the LISS (Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences) panel administered by CentERdata (Tilburg University, The Netherlands).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles N. Noussair
    • 1
  • Stefan T. Trautmann
    • 1
  • Gijs van de Kuilen
    • 1
  • Nathanael Vellekoop
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsTilburg University and CentER for Economic ResearchTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Money and MacroeconomicsGoethe University Frankfurt, SAFE, and NetsparFrankfurt am MainGermany

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