Religion, economic attitudes, and household finance

L. Renneboog, C. SPAENJERS

Oxford Economic Papers

January 2012, vol. 64, n°1, pp.103-127

Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Inheritance & succession, Economic attitudes, Religion, Protestants, Catholics, Households

We investigate the differences in economic attitudes and financial decisions between religious and non-religious households. Using Dutch survey data, we find that religious households consider themselves more trusting, and have a stronger bequest motive and a longer planning horizon. Furthermore, Catholics attach more importance to thrift and are more risk averse, while Protestants combine a more external locus of control with a greater sense of financial responsibility. Religious households are more likely to save. Catholic households invest less frequently in the stock market. Economic attitudes are particularly helpful in explaining the financial decisions of Catholic households