- Tuesday 30 Oct 2018, 16:15 - 17:30
- Spoken Language
- International Institute of Social Studies
God insures those who pay? Formal insurance and religious offerings in Ghana - Development Research Seminar by PhD Amma Panin, postdoctoral research officer at the Centre for Experimental Social Science of Nuffield College, University of Oxford
This paper provides experimental support for the hypothesis that insurance can be a motive for religious donations by members of a Pentecostal church in Ghana.
We randomize enrollment into a commercial funeral insurance policy, then church members allocate money between themselves and a set of religious goods in a series of dictator games with significant stakes.
Members enrolled in insurance give significantly less money to their own church compared to members that only receive information about the insurance. Enrollment also reduces giving towards other spiritual goods. We set up a model exploring different channels of religiously based insurance.
The implications of the model and the results from the dictator games suggest that adherents perceive the church as a source of insurance and that this insurance is derived from beliefs in an interventionist God. Survey results suggest that material insurance from the church community is also important and we hypothesize that these two insurance channels exist in parallel.
About the speaker
Amma Panin is a postdoctoral research officer at the Centre for Experimental Social Science, and a fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
She works on topics in behavioral economics and international development. She is interested in modelling and eliciting decision-making preferences in contexts with uncertain or intertemporal payoffs. She is making particular applications of these methods to study interactions between religious preferences and insurance in developing countries. Amma is also affiliated with the Centre for the Study of African Economies