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Randomizing religion: the impact of Protestant evangelism on economic outcomes

Bryan, Gharad, Choi, James J and Karlan, Dean (2021) Randomizing religion: the impact of Protestant evangelism on economic outcomes. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 136 (1). 293 - 380. ISSN 0033-5533

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Identification Number: 10.1093/qje/qjaa023


We study the causal impact of religiosity through a randomized evaluation of an evangelical Protestant Christian values and theology education program delivered to thousands of ultrapoor Filipino households. Six months after the program ended, treated households have higher religiosity and income; no statistically significant differences in total labor supply, consumption, food security, or life satisfaction; and lower perceived relative economic status. Exploratory analysis suggests that the income treatment effect may operate through increasing grit. Thirty months after the program ended, significant differences in the intensity of religiosity disappear, but those in the treatment group are less likely to be Catholic and more likely to be Protestant, and there is some mixed evidence that their consumption and perceived relative economic status are higher.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D12 - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I30 - General
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O12 - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2020 09:51
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:02

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