Risk aversion and religion
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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.
KeywordsRisk aversion Religion Catholicism Protestantism
JEL ClassificationsC91 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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