Where Angels Fear To Trade: The Role Of Religion In Household Finance

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Executive Summary

Although the relationship between religion and economic development on the macro-level has been investigated, it is less clear how religious background influences economic attitudes and financial decision-making on the level of the individual or household, the micro-level. The authors use panel data from the extensive DNB Household Survey, covering the period from 1995 to 2008, to investigate whether - and through which channel - religious denomination affects household finance in the Netherlands. They find evidence that, in general, religious households care more about saving, are more risk-averse, consider themselves more trusting, have a more external locus of control, and have a stronger bequest motive.

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