good investment opportunities in ghana was the satanic church

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Good investment opportunities in ghana was the satanic church idheap social investment funds

Good investment opportunities in ghana was the satanic church

Empirical prediction H1a: Compared with no information, insurance information increases giving to the church. Empirical prediction H1b: Compared to insurance information, insurance enrolment decreases giving to the church. Therefore, this subsection predicts that providing participants with insurance information would increase giving to any charitable or spiritual organization compared with no insurance information while enrolling them in the insurance treatment would decrease giving to any charitable or spiritual organization compared to the information treatment.

The three empirical predictions of hypothesis H2 are as follows. Empirical prediction H2a: Compared with no information, insurance information increases giving to the church. Empirical prediction H2b: Compared with insurance information, insurance enrollment decreases giving to the church. We collect all the empirical predictions of the three different insurance hypotheses so that they can be compared and tested against one another. H0 There is no insurance provided through the church Section IV.

H0a Compared with no information, insurance information decreases giving to the church. H0b Compared with insurance information, insurance enrollment increases giving to the church. H1 Community insurance is provided through the church Section IV. H1a Compared with no information, insurance information increases giving to the church. H1b Compared with insurance information, insurance enrollment decreases giving to the church. H2a Compared with no information, insurance information increases giving to the church.

H2b Compared with insurance information, insurance enrollment decreases giving to the church. Spiritual insurance effects should be similar across recipients. However they might be different in magnitude since, for instance, church members could see church donations as the most effective tool to decrease the probability of a loss.

Our model and experimental design do not allow us to make a clear prediction of the result if we compared the group that received no insurance information to the group that received insurance. This is because, as described in the model setup, the insurance treatment is composed of both the actual insurance effect we are interested in and a salience effect.

The model demonstrates how these effects work in opposing directions. Although we are unable to formulate an ex ante hypothesis about the overall comparison between receiving insurance and not receiving any information, we discuss the results in Section V. C , where we suggest some interpretations about the relative magnitudes we observe and discuss what they might further tell us about the potential mechanisms of church-based insurance.

Finally, our experiment allows us to test for the average behavior within the church. In Section V. E we discuss potential heterogeneity in the average treatment effect. Our main results include church members recruited during regular service weeks from 16 different church branches; we have complete sociodemographic information for of these.

The groups were balanced across treatments for all key variables except gender women tend to be overrepresented in the insurance information and no insurance groups. An F -test cannot reject the null hypothesis that these main demographic variables do not jointly explain assignment to any of the treatments.

The treatment effects remain similar, with respect to magnitude and statistical significance. Compared with the national population, our participants had lower incomes and were less likely to be employed Online Appendix A , Table We believe that this selection is not a threat to external validity: we are interested in the attitudes toward insurance in precisely this significant subgroup of the general population who are likely to be particularly vulnerable and face a greater number of formally uninsured risks.

We can also compare some key demographic variables across waves of the experiment. Online Appendix A Table 12 shows preregistered covariates, many of which differed across waves. Table 13 shows demographic variables that were not preregistered.

These are not included as controls in any regressions. The time elapsed and the constraint to move the study to a different part of the city to work with church branches that were not contacted for the first wave explain the differences between the two sample populations. These differences should certainly be kept in mind when interpreting our results. Nevertheless, we believe it reinforces the validity of our results that they should be broadly robust to such differences across waves; this indicates that we are observing features of their shared religious practice rather than idiosyncratic features of particular sociodemographic groups.

In this subsection and the following, we focus on the 3 dictator games among the 10 played where anonymous donations to the three recipients were paired with the possibility of keeping the money. Results from the other games are discussed in Section V. The histograms in Figure I plot the distributions of giving to the three different recipients. Data from participants from weeks with no revival events, pooled across both waves.

Participants chose how much of an endowment to allocate between themselves and different recipients. These spikes at the extreme values highlight that allocations to the recipients may have been censored. To account for this, we report all experimental results using a Tobit regression. Giving to the three recipients is significantly correlated, with the correlation coefficients between the pairs of choices ranging from 0.

If the experimental design induced any order effects, these high degrees of correlation could be problematic for interpretations across recipients. However, the order of dictator decisions was randomized across participants, mitigating the concern that any order effects could interact with treatment effects.

We turn to the discussion of the results. Section V. C focuses on the pooled analysis. The question of the comparison of the two waves and the degree of confidence we can reasonably have in the results is discussed in Section V. We first examine the main ways donation behavior is affected by enrollment into insurance as opposed to the mere provision of insurance information.

The figure shows separate effects from wave 1 and wave 2 and two ways of aggregating the estimates, either by estimating a single effect on the pooled sample or by taking a precision-weighted mean of the separate effects as is common in meta-analytic studies Christensen, Freese, and Miguel Table III presents the regression coefficients for the two separate waves as well as for the pooled analysis.

Table III shows results of Tobit regressions with and without individual controls and dummies for individual churches—for the reasons of representativity just mentioned, the results with controls are to be preferred for hypothesis testing. Treatment effects are estimated from a comparison between insurance enrollment and insurance information.

Estimates are from Tobit regressions including preregistered covariates as controls. This table corresponds to Main Test 1 and Main Test 2. Standard errors are in parentheses below the estimates and are clustered at the session level. The dependent variable is the fraction of the endowment that a participant allocated to either their own church columns 1 and 2 , a nonprofit charity working with street children columns 3 and 4 , or a countrywide prayer event called the national day of thanksgiving columns 5 and 6.

Individual controls include age, gender, ethnicity, employment, log income , an indicator for daily church attendance, an indicator for praying multiple times a day, church fixed effects, and a dummy for the experimental wave. The size of the sample changes across columns because a computer error led to some missing demographic variables in wave 1. Constant terms cannot be compared across waves in even-numbered columns due to the use of church fixed effects. We find that enrollment into the insurance policy decreases giving to all three recipients compared with those who only receive the information about the insurance but are not enrolled.

The treatment effects are similar for the different recipients. A decrease in the amount of donations is predicted by the hypothesis that giving has some element of an insurance motivation. In addition, the fact that amounts given to all recipients are similarly affected means that the expected insurance is through meritorious behavior in the eyes of God and not through paying in to a community insurance fund administered solely by the church.

This does not constitute evidence against the existence of such community insurance mechanisms, but we do not find positive evidence of their existence here. Finally, it is worth noting that the treatment effect is no stronger, and even somewhat weaker, for named nonanonymous donations to the church, as can be seen in Online Appendix B , Table If community insurance were the main motivation, we would expect to see stronger treatment effects for named than for anonymous donations.

The treatment effects are therefore consistent with hypothesis 2 spiritual insurance and inconsistent with hypothesis 0 no insurance and hypothesis 1 community insurance. More precisely, the results are consistent with hypotheses H2b and H2c, which predict that enrollment decreases giving to the church and other recipients, respectively.

They are inconsistent with hypothesis H0b, which predicts that enrollment increases giving to the church. Although they are consistent with hypothesis H1b that enrollment decreases giving to the church , they are inconsistent with hypothesis H1c that there is no effect on the other recipients. We report the effect on donation behavior of a more salient threat of death. Table IV , Panel A presents the results of providing insurance information on giving relative to the no insurance information treatment.

Participants who received no information on the insurance donated on average Providing insurance information changes this amount by 3. In Panels B and C, the two waves are presented separately. In the first wave, we find a significant salience effect on all recipients, but this is absent in the second wave. Comparisons of preregistered covariates and some additional variables describing church and spiritual behavior. We interpret these results with reference to our model.

We model the idea that death becomes more salient with an increase in income loss D. Hypotheses H1a and H2a propose that if insurance is offered through the church either community-based or spiritual , and D is increased, then giving to the church and other recipients should increase.

We find that insurance information does not increase giving compared with no insurance. This would be consistent with H0 no insurance offered through the church if it were not for our results on enrollment. Alternatively, this is consistent with an incorrect assumption that discussions about death have the same effect as an increase in the size of D.

It is indeed likely that the discussion about death in wave 2 did not translate to a perceived increase in the size of D. The enrollment effects discussed in Section V. C are based on a measurable and economically relevant decrease in D free enrollment into an insurance policy and provide strong evidence against H0.

Furthermore, variability in how insurance information makes D salient is consistent with a growing literature that shows salience effects to be context-dependent Bordalo, Gennaioli, and Shleifer Understanding which attributes of a decision problem become salient, and under which conditions, is an active area of study. These channels highlight how the framing and context in which information is presented matter for the salience of attributes of a decision problem. Small differences in the sample population or unavoidable changes in procedure between waves 1 and 2 e.

This does not imply that the effects of salience are of low scientific interest. In their sermons, pastors frequently try to make salient various life risks such as the risk of death, joblessness, or marital failure , while suggesting donations as a means of coping with these risks. An interesting avenue for research would be to investigate which conditions need to be fulfilled to find a salience effect that increases donations.

Presumably, some pastors are better at it than others. Online Appendix B , Table 17 shows that the net effect of the two treatments the salience effect plus the treatment effect of interest, which work in opposite directions is to yield an effect of receiving insurance compared with being given no information that is negative but not significant at conventional levels. The model does not provide a clear prediction about this comparison as its sign depends on the size of the salience and the insurance effects.

Panel A shows that the overall net effect is not significant. In wave 1 Panel B , the enrollment and salient effects are of similar magnitudes. In wave 2 Panel C , where we do not find a significant salience effect, the net effect of insurance is negative although not consistently significant. Church sermons themselves frequently combine the two effects salience and insurance enrollment by talking about certain risks and suggesting donations as a means of coping with these risks.

In wave 1, insurance enrollment decreased giving only in comparison with the higher donations induced by the salience effect of the insurance information treatment. However, this salience effect was not necessary to observe the enrollment effect in wave 2. As described in Section III. C , our study was conducted in two waves to verify a heterogeneous treatment effect that can be explained by our model but that we had not preregistered prior to wave 1. We discuss the heterogeneous treatment effect in Section V.

Wave 2 also enabled us to conduct a replication of the treatment effects from wave 1 in normal nonrevival weeks. This allows us to put our results in context with the growing literature on replicability of experimental results in economics and other social sciences. It does not meet the first criterion—although the wave 2 effect is in the right direction and large enough to be consistent with the results from wave 1, its p -value is greater than. This might explain why point estimates in wave 2 are lower.

This suggests that our replication, though of the same approximate size as the original experiment, has reduced power given the diminished magnitude of the treatment. The effect on giving to the thanksgiving offering is not replicated according to any criterion. This is also the only outcome we were not able to implement in the same way as in wave 1 because the timing of the thanksgiving event was fixed as described in Section III.

The national event had already happened shortly beforehand, and our participants might have felt that paying again for something that would presumably occur a year later was too distant. The meta-analytic effect is also in the right direction, although its confidence interval includes 0.

Online Appendix B , Table 18, Panel A presents the donation levels when participants had to make the choice between two recipient organizations, rather than between a single recipient and the option of keeping money for themselves. It therefore constitutes a robustness test of the previous finding that the treatment effects of salience and enrollment were similar in sign and magnitude across all three recipients, which is a prediction of the theory of spiritual insurance but not of the theory of community insurance.

We do not find that church members in the insurance enrollment treatment split their endowment significantly differently from church members who only received the information about the insurance. This therefore constitutes additional supporting evidence in favor of hypothesis 2 against hypothesis 1.

How Does Insurance Work? These experimental results point to an interesting relationship between the type of benefits parishioners might believe they receive from belonging to a church and their willingness to make costly donations to that church. First, treatment effects of insurance enrollment are present across the three recipients.

If the type of insurance the participant associates with their church membership were purely community-based, there should not be a treatment effect on giving to these external recipients. Nevertheless, we cannot rule out the simultaneous existence of community-based motives. Indeed, our questionnaire also provides support for the existence of community-based church motives for many participants in ordinary circumstances. Our results therefore do not imply that spiritual insurance is the exclusive or even the main motive behind giving to the church and that community-based insurance does not exist.

In ordinary life, church members are unlikely to think only about insurance against funeral expenses when giving donations to the church. They face many risks and challenges other than funeral expenses. Even if members think that the risks of death can be managed by undertaking actions that are meritorious in the eyes of God, they may still be attentive to the benefits that may come from direct assistance from the church when they need it.

Up to this point, we have discussed results for church members recruited during normal service weeks. In wave 1, after recruitment, we learned that two churches had hosted revival weeks during the course of our experiments. Some of their members who participated in the experiment were sampled during those revival weeks. Revival weeks are special periods of church activity where members are encouraged to attend church daily. The services consist of prayer, teaching, singing, and exhortation to give money to the church.

For two churches, we were able to randomize participation during revival and nonrevival weeks on an individual level. In total, church members across waves 1 and 2 participated in the experiment while they were in the middle of a revival week. However, for this sample, we find important differences in treatment effects. In wave 1, wave 2, and the pooled results, we find that after being enrolled in insurance, they increased giving to the church.

The coefficient on the interaction of the enrollment and the revival week is positive and large around three to four times the main treatment effect in absolute value , and significant. These results for the total sample are displayed in Online Appendix C , Table Without random assignment for participation, we do not know if this effect is due to different types of church members showing up a selection effect or a change in behavior because of the revival week itself.

In Table VI , we present the results of the experiment we conducted in wave 2 where we randomized assignment to participate in the study during revival weeks. At the time of recruitment, participants were assigned to attend the experiment in a fixed week. They were not given any further incentives to participate during their assigned week.

There was low compliance, particularly among those who were assigned to revival weeks see Online Appendix C , Table 24 although compliers do not differ from noncompliers in terms of preregistered demographics see Table V and Online Appendix C , Table As a result, we report both intention-to-treat and instrumented estimates of the effect of randomized revival attendance.

This table corresponds to Heterogenous Effect 2 in the preanalysis plan and presents Tobit regressions censored at 0 and 1. Dependent variable is the fraction of the endowment that a participant allocated to either their own church columns 1 and 2 , a nonprofit charity working with street children columns 3 and 4 , or a countrywide prayer event called the national day of thanksgiving columns 5 and 6.

In Table VI , we show results for wave 2 participants who were part of the revival experiment i. In Panel A, we present results for participants who attended the experiment during a revival week, regardless of when they were randomly assigned. Church members who participated in the experiment during the revival week gave significantly more to all recipients when they received the insurance than those who participated during normal church weeks.

In Panel B, we use the random assignment to the revival week rather than actual participation and find the same significant and positive effects. Finally, in Panel C, participation during revival week is instrumented with assignment.

As equation 38 in the Online Appendix demonstrates, when equilibrium giving is higher than a given threshold, even in the presence of spiritual insurance, church members respond to an exogenous shock increasing the size of a loss by a decrease in optimal giving. Intuitively, there is a point at which members have already given so much money to the church that when faced with the prospect of a negative income shock, they prefer to keep money to smooth secular consumption i.

This explanation of the revival week effect is consistent with the types of activities and benefits members are supposed to derive from revival weeks. However, there can be heterogeneity between individuals in how they value spiritual consumption over secular consumption for a number of other reasons. To avoid selectively presenting interactions of different variables, we take all the survey questions that asked participants about their church participation to create an index that captures costly church behavior: questions that measure how much time and money participants give up to participate in the church see Online Appendix A , Table IV for descriptive statistics of responses to these questions.

Details of the construction of the index are provided in Online Appendix C. The variation of the index is pictured in Online Appendix Figure 3. We expect the costly behavior index to have a similar effect as participation during a revival week. Such high values of spiritual consumption can reach a point where members feel sufficiently protected that the income effect of the insurance enrollment outweighs the substitution effect.

The interaction between the insurance enrollment treatment and the costly participation index is displayed in Online Appendix C , Table In line with the previous section, we find that members that score highly on the religious participation index have treatment effects that are significantly different from those with lower participation levels. While lower levels of costly participation are associated with decreasing giving to the church after enrollment in insurance, this is not the case for members with higher levels of costly participation.

Another level of potential heterogeneity is that church members differ in the type of insurance they demand. The average treatment effect of the experiment does not imply that all church members are seeking spiritual insurance. Indeed, it is a weighted average of the effect of church members who are seeking spiritual insurance and church members who seek community or no insurance.

Using the survey questionnaire, we try to disentangle different types of church members. As before, we use all questions in the questionnaire that asked about beliefs or uses of the church for financial purposes or as a social network Table 8 in Online Appendix A and questions that asked for beliefs or uses of the church as a center for spiritual activity see Online Appendix A , Table 15 for summary statistics.

We create the two indices with the same method as the costly participation index. Their variation and correlations are displayed in the same Figure 3 in the Online Appendix. Figure 3 shows that most church members state spiritual reasons for going to church and there is little variation in the index see Online Appendix C for a longer discussion of this. The index for using the church as a financial and social network has more variation and a majority of church members score relatively low on this measure.

Online Appendix C , Tables 30 and 31 present results for the interactions between the insurance enrollment treatment and how participants report using the church. Indeed, the lack of variation in the spiritual index shows that most church members seek at least some spiritual or moral dimension in their churches.

We conducted a lab-in-the-field experiment with church members from an established Pentecostal church in Accra, Ghana. This spiritual insurance channel does not contradict the possibility that other church community-based mechanisms exist in parallel. Indeed, survey responses from church members and leaders emphasize the important role the church plays as a financial contributor. However, our experimental findings add nuance to the literature on religious institutions as coordinating platforms by demonstrating that adherents might care at least as much about spiritual insurance affecting outcomes through signaling to an interventionist god as they do about material insurance accessing transfers of goods and services from other church members.

The treatment effects obtained within the church population depend on three important factors. First, Pentecostal churches stress the involvement of God in terms of blessings in everyday life and teach about God rewarding religious and charitable giving.

This particular religious discourse makes members of these churches more prone to see charitable behavior as a means to decrease the risk of bad events happening and to increase the occurrence of good events. Second, trust in the insurance is fundamental, especially in a context where formal institutions are generally weak.

In our case, the church was used as a coordinator for the insurance scheme and participants seemed to trust the insurance because it was coordinated by their pastor. As long as these three conditions are met, we expect our results to hold. In particular we believe that our results would hold in other Pentecostal churches and settings where the development of formal insurance is low. Because beliefs in religious rituals that influence immediate events are common among a variety of religions and faiths in developing countries, it would be interesting to reproduce the experiment in a different religious setting.

The experiment stressed the importance of religion for economic decisions made by individuals in a setting with weak formal institutions. Although individuals might belong to religious institutions in those settings because they offer risk-mitigating strategies, we show that formal, private insurance can at least partially substitute for spiritual-based insurance mechanisms.

Because the church was used as a credible coordinator for the insurance scheme, we are inclined to see religious institutions in this context as opportunities to spread formal insurance rather than as an obstacle to its development. We are immensely grateful to Anthony Panin for coordinating the collaboration. Finally, we thank the editor, coeditor, and four anonymous referees for their suggestions and their comments on early versions of the article.

They have helped us greatly improve the paper content and organization. All remaining errors are ours. The views expressed here are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions they are or have been affiliated with, in particular the OECD and its Member countries. Strictly speaking, this mechanism is not insurance but a preventive measure to decrease the subjective likelihood of an economic shock.

The second-wave experiment on revival week participants was not strictly speaking a replication because we sought to randomize allocation to revival weeks in a way that had not been done in the first wave. Gershman demonstrates a negative association between trust and the presence of witchcraft beliefs, whereas Hadnes and Schumacher experimentally find that priming voodoo beliefs increases trust and trustworthiness. The current reformation, however, is an earth-circling one. See Johnson and Zurlo See www.

With encouragement from a referee and the editor, to whom we are grateful. Between and , Ghana experienced year-on-year inflation rates of Prices and purchasing power changed over this period, including the premium of the insurance. We adjust endowments and show-up fees of the experiment accordingly. However, because of rounding and pricing decisions of the insurance company, among other changes, the amounts used in wave 2 prevent this from being an exact replication.

One main goal of the group microinsurance is to have a simplified scheme and low coordination costs. This implied that the tariff was independent of the gender, age, or other characteristics of the insured. The main insurance taker only had to be above the age of 18 and below the age of 75, and could then insure his or her children and other close family members under the age of For 5 of these 16 churches, fewer than 30 members participated in our experiment.

This information is summarized in Online Appendix Tables 9 and They represent the great diversity of AoG branches that can be found in Accra. We were also interested in seeing how our hypothesized mechanisms operate within a secular organisation, so we recruited an additional market sellers. Traders in this market are organized into an association that could provide financial assistance such as credit or insurance to dues-paying members.

During the first round of data collection, we realized that the insurance treatment was not properly implemented in this sample. Indeed, the funeral insurance was coordinated by the head of the market association. Informal discussions with study participants and their answers to survey questions warned us that trust in the insurance coordinator might be low.

It seemed likely to us that participants would not trust that the insurance would be actually implemented, thus discrediting the insurance treatment. Furthermore, questionnaire answers informed us that the market association is not a commonly used risk-sharing structure and is by no means similar to the church community in that respect.

We stopped collecting data on market members after the first round of the study and the sample for this group is too small to detect treatment effects. Results from this smaller additional sample are available from the authors on request. Sessions with fewer than four individuals were excluded as per our preanalysis plan. The survey was done before the game. First, this had a logistical motivation as the survey was done with the enumerators who subsequently explained the game and then left so participants could play privately.

Second, the survey was the component that we focused on most during recruitment and cooperation with the churches. Regarding anonymous and nonanonymous donations, one concern is that participants who see named donations before anonymous choices may think about the latter in a different way.

We randomize the order of the dictator games precisely to address this type of concern. However, we also checked whether seeing named donations before anonymous ones affected later choices to give to the church anonymously and we find that this is not the case.

Divine intervention can also take the form of reducing the severity of shocks rather than reducing their probability of occurrence. This type of insurance mechanism would be observationally indistinguishable from belief in a divine intervention that reduces the probability of shocks. However, based on the narrative propagated by Pentecostal churches described in Section II , we model spiritual insurance as a belief that donation behavior affects the probability of occurrence of shocks.

This assumption contradicts the secularization hypothesis that higher income leads to lower religiosity. However, it is in line with new studies using panel or micro data Becker and Woessmann ; Buser A theoretical rationale for the positive association of income with religious consumption can be found in club good models of religion Iannaccone ; Berman ; Berman and Laitin The questionnaire software malfunctioned during the first few sessions, so some survey data were not saved.

There were no problems with data from the dictator games. Tables 19 to 22 in Online Appendix B show results scaled by standardized outcomes and outcomes in local currency cedis. Asamoah-Gyadu describes revival meetings as an essential feature of contemporary Pentecostal worship. The number of church members sampled during revival weeks was lower than the number suggested by power calculations in the wave 2 preanalysis plan.

However, recruitment and randomization into revival weeks was ultimately limited because most churches only hold three to four revival events a year, some of which are ad hoc and need-based, and we did not have continuous access to the churches throughout the year. For one church, we recruited church members only during the revival week and were not able to randomize participation.

F -statistics from the first stage are reported in Online Appendix , Table The results are displayed separately in Tables 32—34, column 2. Tables 32 to 40 in Online Appendix C provide more detailed regressions with individual questionnaire answers as independent regressors.

By contrast, when we tried to run a similar experiment with the market association, the insurance enrollment failed to yield any effect because market participants did not trust the head of the market association who was chosen to administrate the insurance scheme. Google Scholar. Anderson Michael L. Asamoah-Gyadu J. Leiden: Brill, , — Becker Sascha O. Bentzen Jeanet S.

Berman Eli , Laitin David D. Braver Sanford L. Camerer Colin F. Google Preview. Oxford: Oxford University Press , , xvii — xxii. Gruber Jonathan , Hungerman Daniel M. Iannaccone R. Johnson Todd M. Gina A. McCauley John F. McCleary Rachel M. Norenzayan Ara , Hansen Ian G. Patil Prasad , Peng Roger D. Thelen F.

Ukah Asonzeh F. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search. Search Menu. Skip Nav Destination Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents Abstract. Experimental Results. Supplementary Material.

Data Availability. Article Navigation. Editor's Choice. But Swiegelaar was clear: "We do not believe in the devil, or Satan, as an external deity or a being. We revere Satan as an archetype, as a symbol for pride, for joy, for the carnal nature of humanity.

The response on Twitter varied between those who leapt into action, to oppose the Satanists with all their might, like:. The church's founders reminded the public it also practiced safe Covid rituals - and were not open to large crowds of congregants under Level 3. Read this report on News24Wire. AllAfrica publishes around reports a day from more than news organizations and over other institutions and individuals , representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons.

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LIVERPOOL MIDDLE EAST INVESTMENT SUMMIT

It may interest you to know that because of the bad deeds of Smith Jnr and his brother Hyrum, a mob attacked and murdered them while they were awaiting trial at a Carthage jail in the USA. Jehovah Witnesses The Jehovah Witness sect is a satanic organization carefully, deceitfully and cunningly designed by Satan to lead the Anti Christ group on earth.

JW is therefore not part of Christianity because it does not believe in the core doctrines of Christianity thus they parade themselves as Christians to deceive people from going to heaven and lead them to hell fire which with brimstone. The anti-Christ stance of JWs is explained in the fact that they cannot stand the mention of Jesus Christ hell fire and heaven.

I therefore call on all true Christians and anybody in the world to completely avoid and ignore JWs because so far as I know, they are not part of the church our Lord Jesus Christ built. Some charismatic churches, church of Pentecost etc. Some charismatic churches, church of Pentecost etc which were started by the Holy Spirit power are now dying by the day because of the springing of many branches without pastors.

Most of these branches are manned by elders who do not have the time for the flock allowing the infiltration of Satan. As it is now, it would be advisable that theses Assemblies without pastors are closed down but alternative arrangements must be made to transfer them to churches which have pastors to shepherd them in their areas. Where comes from the craze of having many branches, huge worship centres and extravagant life styles?

They are not from the Lord Jesus Christ and his church, Matthew and Matthew 23 , as Sheep cannot be managed without a shepherd. Those who have ears should listen to what the spirit says, sayeth the Lord. Man must work on every other day because only holiness and righteousness and genuine commitment to Jesus Christ brings one close to him. This can be made possible through preaching and teaching against sin and the fear of the lord are the things that lead people to inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church and others The Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church and other churches founded by the Lord Jesus Christ are now in coma because some of their clergy and presbyters who have taken over the running of the churches are involved in occultism and secret societies. I pray that they give themselves to Jesus Christ and save the church for Jesus Christ or must resign before the wrath of the Lord descends on them. They must cease before the aforementioned diseases from the Lord is descended on them.

Those who ignore this admonition do so at their own risk. Good news for Ghana The good news, however, is that the Lord Jesus Christ has chosen Ghana as the headquarters of His church on earth with Kumasi as the capital just as God chose Abraham and Israel as his nation and by covenant blessed Israel. This is the Lord? As a result, blessings have been bestowed on Ghana and that henceforth every Ghanaian living in Ghana and elsewhere will receive abundant blessing and God?

The message as revealed by the Lord comes with a general warning that any force which attempts to stand in the way of the blessings and favour following Ghana? Following the designation of Ghana as headquarters of Jesus Church, the territorial land, air, sea and under the earth areas of Ghana is now enjoying immunity from satanic activities.

It means all meetings and activities of the Satanic Kingdom as its headquarters cannot be held here in Ghana. Never again! They have to move since the headquarters of the Lord and that of Satan cannot be at the same place. This calls for thanksgiving, praises of the name of the lord Jesus Christ and jubilation from Christians by all Ghanaians everywhere.

The battle lasted until the fateful day of June 24, in one of our Wednesday Teaching and Prayer service at North Suntreso in Kumasi. The coronation in heaven happened on July 12, and thanksgiving service and announcement to the church, the nation and the world at large also took place on July 19, during our church service at North Suntreso in Kumasi.

Rawlings Meanwhile, let me take this opportunity to remind former President Jerry John Rawlings of his calling as an apostle in the Lord? I advise Mr. Rawlings to humbly surrender and answer the divine call because time is running out for him. The former President has to heed to the divine bidding now to propagate the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ using his exceptional oratory skills and charisma or he would do it in a painful way.

Any delays on the part of Mr. Rawlings to respond positively to the call will affect his crown and reward. The only way out for Mr. Rawlings is to be bold and accept the challenge because the calling is divine and would be guided by the Holy Spirit to deliver. Let me, however, sound a note of caution to Mr. Rawlings that once he accepts the challenge he must be cautious of diabolic manipulations of his ministry by some agents of Satan who are in the Ministry locally and abroad.

He must not listen to any body except the Voice of the Holy Spirit. He should also not hesitate to contact me for further and enhanced directions as soon as possible. Rawlings is assured that I will always be available and ready to offer the needed guidance as directed by the Holy Spirit.

I wish? Rawlings well in his new ministry in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Picture Instead, he humbly admonished The Almighty as the only source of His power…Lord is a title, nothing else. Comment:l like better join the occult. Thank you my people in occult. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Sign in. There is, of course, considerable heterogeneity in beliefs and practices within individuals in a given church, across branches within a single denomination, and across denominations of the broader Pentecostal movement. However, the key features of Pentecostal belief and practice, which are important for interpreting our study design, are widely shared.

By focusing recruitment from a popular and established denomination, we can draw out insights that should be applicable to this large and growing movement and to other religious practices that share certain features of these beliefs. In terms of practice, the church is an essential part of life for Pentecostal adherents. They go to church more regularly than other Christians and perform other religious practices more frequently.

For example, compared with the general population, Pentecostals pray and read the Bible more often and more frequently watch or listen to religious programs on television and radio. They are more likely to share their beliefs with others to spread their faith Pew Research Center Members also enjoy nonspiritual benefits from their church. An essential function of Pentecostal churches in Ghana, in particular in urban areas, is to offer a place for social gathering.

Online Appendix A , Tables 7 and 8 show descriptive statistics of selected answers from our study questionnaire about the social and financial role of churches. Over half the participants declare that they have a preference for close friends drawn from the church.

More fundamentally, people seem to be attracted to such churches because they feel like part of a broader community that looks after them, whether through other church members, church leaders, or God. This is consistent with survey evidence from the Afrobarometer Afrobarometer Pentecostal adherents are expected to support their church financially. Giving is often multilayered and different ways of transferring money might have different motivations. Tithing, the practice of giving away a tenth of all income, usually takes the form of a nonanonymous monthly payment to the church for which church members receive a receipt.

This type of giving is akin to a membership fee to the church community. On the other hand, there is giving for specific purposes such as pledges, which are occasional nonanonymous donations involving large amounts of money, often for investment in church infrastructure. Opportunities for this form of giving are frequent and contributions are expected beyond the other regular or earmarked forms of giving.

This includes, among others, seed offerings the practice of giving money in anticipation of a future material benefit or thanksgivings in gratitude for already materialized benefits Maxwell ; Gifford The type of giving we observe in our experiment falls into this category of spontaneous giving. Giving to the church might interact with the use of the church as an insurer in a number of ways. First, individuals might give to the church in expectation that the church as an institution would reward this sign of commitment by disbursing funds in times of need.

Second, individuals might use their public giving to send signals that they are good community members to other church members and expect that other church members then contribute to help them in times of need. The costs of religious participation can be seen as screening mechanisms to ensure that members are reliable and to prevent free-riding Iannaccone In addition, the community structure of the group with repeated interactions reduces monitoring costs Berman In addition to its role as a social network, the church is believed by its members to be a setting for encounters with the divine.

The church therefore has a value as an insurer because it facilitates access to an interventionist god who can prevent negative shocks and favor positive ones. Like the community-based material insurance, spiritual insurance is a potential response toward risk. However, it is a preventive measure to decrease the subjective likelihood of an economic shock and thus is not insurance in the strict sense.

This allows us to make some distinctions about the different types of insurance experienced in the church. These mechanisms are formalized in the model in Section IV , and the doctrinal features are discussed here. The first and most prominent feature is the forthright relationship between giving to God and material well-being.

Pentecostal preachers across Africa speak of a God who does not want His people to be poor or to suffer. Their preaching makes a particularly strong and explicit link between giving to God and insurance. We conducted an experiment in Accra, Ghana, in two stages. The first wave was run in November and December with participants. The main hypotheses that were preregistered and tested were the average differences between the treatment groups.

We ran the second wave in May and June 13 with participants because a subset of wave 1 participants attended the sessions during weeks in which their churches were hosting large revival events. This inadvertently violated our experiment protocol, under which sessions were held on weekdays to avoid conducting experiments with subjects who had been in church on the same day.

However, revival week events are conducted all through the work week. We had not preregistered the exclusion of revival participants or any church member visiting the church on the same day , and indeed their results yielded interesting insights consistent with our model.

The second wave was an opportunity to prespecify and test a hypothesis about revival week attendance. We used an encouragement design to randomly assign some wave 2 participants to attend sessions during a revival week. We also use wave 2 to conduct a direct replication of our original experiment with nonrevival participants to verify if the results are robust to inevitable changes in the environment such as a different part of the city, different socioeconomic characteristics, inflation.

Randomization was done at the session level. At the start of each session, one participant per group was invited to pick one out of three unmarked envelopes. Participants were told that the envelopes contained a piece of paper that would determine the type of session they would play. This information was shared with participants to prevent incorrect guesses about the different possibilities and to avoid that participants who heard from others about the insurance believed that they would receive it in the end.

The insurance was a funeral policy offered by a leading microinsurer active in the Ghanaian market. Surviving family members are expected to honor the dead with lavish commemorations. The rising toll of funeral costs has received attention from the media, scholars, and political leaders. It is important to note that community support is not just financial—churches also organize provision of food and moral and logistical support, so any formal insurance product will only be addressing a single aspect of the church contributions.

The degree of formalization of this type of support varies across the churches in our sample. In interviews with church leaders, most confirmed that observed commitment from members was a prerequisite for church involvement in their funerals. Definitions of commitment always included attendance of church events and financial commitment to the church in terms of tithes and offerings.

We offered participants a microinsurance policy available on the Ghanaian market. The policy offered individual enrollment into a group policy. Pastors of each church branch acted as the coordinators of the policies. This meant that the insurance company would channel any group communications e. The policy covered the life of the participant and a member of his or her immediate family.

This policy cost GHS During pretests it became clear that discussions of death and planning around death would be sensitive topics. As the insurance treatment was designed to isolate the effect of being enrolled in insurance, we offered the same information about the insurance policy to the control group, so that the same issues of death would be salient in both settings. Comparisons between this group that did not discuss death and the control group that received insurance information allow us to see how church members react to an increase of perceived risk in the absence of formal insurance.

We recruited 1, in wave 1 and in wave 2 study participants from 16 different church branches in one particular denomination. Participants were informed of the experiment through announcements made on Sunday mornings during regular church services. To avoid confounds with normal Sunday offering, all sessions took place during the subsequent work week in a neutral location. We found interesting results for this subset.

In the second wave, we therefore purposely sampled and randomized experiment participation during revival and standard church weeks. The results for this subset of subjects are discussed after presenting the main experimental results, which involve participants in the two waves. It was very important for the credibility of our study that, with the exception of recruitment, all interactions with participants took place off church premises and that participants were assured of anonymity so as to avoid any contamination of the results by perceived pressure from the church authorities.

This involved a substantial effort to transport the recruited individuals to a study location at some distance from the church, as well as setting up a proper lab-in-the-field with laptops and room dividers between subjects so as to make the assurance of anonymity credible. All participants were compensated for transport to the neutral locations.

The remaining sessions that were smaller or larger than this range occurred randomly across treatments, dates, churches, and revival and nonrevival weeks. Participants privately played 10 dictator games. Each game asked participants to allocate GHS 11 between two recipients GHS 19 in to adjust for changes in purchasing power; both amounts represent a little less than average daily income.

There were also two ways individuals would give to the church: the first being an anonymous donation, the second being a named donation. The pairs of recipients are listed in Table I. The order of the 10 dictator games was randomized by the computer program. The charity operates in a district of the city that is geographically and culturally distinct from where we recruited participants. Giving to this charity could largely be understood as an altruistic action. The thanksgiving offering is part of an annual interfaith prayer event.

Leaders and members of various faiths join together in prayer for Ghana. Giving toward this event was meant to be interpreted as giving toward a largely spiritual interest. Pretests and focus groups during piloting confirmed that study participants would indeed see these two recipients of their donations in this manner. After all decisions had been made in the dictator games, one game was selected at random individually for each participant, and further payments were made according to the decision taken for that game.

Average overall earnings from the experiment were GHS The experiment protocol and the questionnaire can be found in the Online Appendix. This experiment was preregistered in the AEA registry. There were two deviations from the protocol in wave 1. First, we stopped the experiment with a market sample because the sellers did not trust their market leaders, as explained in note Second, we did not anticipate the revival weeks, therefore we did not preregister that we would exclude revival participants or analyze their effects separately.

Wave 2 allowed us to address the revival week concern by running a new experiment. There were three unavoidable changes to the main protocol between wave 1 and wave 2. First, we adjusted outcomes in for inflation, which meant that participants faced GHS 19 instead of GHS 11 allocation choices. Second, the insurance company maintained the payout at GHS 1, despite adjusting the premium for inflation.

This meant that wave 2 participants were treated with a smaller dose than wave 1 participants. Finally, due to the timing of fieldwork, the national thanksgiving offering was one month in the future during wave 1, while it had just taken place during wave 2. This implies that the next national thanksgiving event we asked our subjects to contribute to was going to be in one year. This likely affected its perception as a relevant spiritual good. Table 11 in Online Appendix A shows the numbers of subjects by wave and by treatment.

We develop a simple model to formalize the types of behavior we expect our experiment to capture and use results from the model to motivate the experimental hypotheses. First we establish how church members who derive utility from secular and spiritual consumption would behave given the risk of an exogenous income shock in a bad state of the world if there is no insurance offered by the church. We then consider two church-based insurance channels. Community-based insurance is modeled as a payment given to a church member in the case of a loss where the size of the payment depends on how much the church member gives to their church.

Spiritual insurance is modeled as a belief that the subjective probability of a loss is reduced by giving to the church and other goods used for religious signaling, such as the spiritual and secular charities. Spiritual insurance is therefore not an insurance contract in the narrow sense.

The mechanisms of our experiment are captured in the model as changes to the size of the loss. The insurance scheme into which we enrolled individuals paid out in the event of their own death or the death of a relative. The loss we model is a financial loss and is not intended to cover all of the aspects of the distress suffered by an individual facing the death of a loved one, let alone the adverse emotional and other consequences to them of their own death.

As in any life insurance decision, the individual does not expect to be compensated for their own death, but intends to offset in part the financial consequences of a death to those still left alive. Individuals are capable of anticipating the benefit of that payout and considering it a possibly vicarious benefit in anticipation of which they are willing to pay a premium, even if they do not expect to be alive when the payout occurs.

There are two ways our insurance treatments may affect the size of the loss. The first is when insurance information is provided to participants. The process necessitates a discussion about death both of the participating individual and his or her loved ones. This discussion brings home to participants the reality of a risk they had perhaps been inclined not to think about, and thereby makes death more salient.

We represent this as an increase in the perceived size of the loss, compared with the situation before they had received this information. However, this interpretation of the provision of information is necessarily tentative; we return to the question in discussing the results below. The second way our insurance treatment affects the size of the loss is when individuals are actually enrolled. We represent this as a reduction in the perceived size of the loss.

We show how in the presence of an insurance motive in the church, the main insurance treatment can lead to a decrease in giving, and the provision of only insurance information can lead to an increase in giving. We assume that a church member has an income of Y and chooses to give an amount g to the church. This weight might differ from one individual to the next there may be individual heterogeneity. More important for our empirical analysis, it might also differ in time for instance, in revival weeks individuals go to church every day and are focused on spiritual activities.

Both utility functions u and f are increasing and concave in their arguments. We therefore make the assumption that religious consumption is a normal good. The following subsections set up the maximization problems and show how optimal giving varies with the perceived size of loss. We assume that church members choose a particular level of giving g to maximize their total expected utility. All proofs are in the Online Appendix.

We summarize this empirical prediction of hypothesis H0 in the following form. Empirical prediction H0a: Compared with no information, insurance information decreases giving to the church. Correspondingly, compared with the control group, the enrollment treatment reduces the perceived risk of loss, thereby decreasing D , and thus would increase giving to the church. The second empirical prediction of hypothesis H0 is therefore:. Empirical prediction H0b: Compared to insurance information, insurance enrollment increases giving to the church.

When there is an insurance motive behind church donations, an increase in the potential loss D triggers two opposite effects: the substitution effect, whereby church members try to mitigate the increase in loss by buying more informal insurance; and the income effect, described in Section IV.

B , where church members reduce giving to the church to have more money available for secular consumption smoothing. Therefore, the overall effect of an increase in D is an increase in the optimal giving. This subsection therefore predicts that if there exists an effective community insurance that reduces the size of a loss in case of a shock, the information about insurance should increase church giving compared to no insurance information , while the enrollment treatment would decrease church giving compared to the control group.

These effects are the opposite of the predicted effects discussed in the previous section, when there is no insurance motive for giving to the church. There should be no impact of either treatment on giving to other recipients. The three empirical predictions of hypothesis H1 are as follows. Empirical prediction H1a: Compared with no information, insurance information increases giving to the church. Empirical prediction H1b: Compared to insurance information, insurance enrolment decreases giving to the church.

Therefore, this subsection predicts that providing participants with insurance information would increase giving to any charitable or spiritual organization compared with no insurance information while enrolling them in the insurance treatment would decrease giving to any charitable or spiritual organization compared to the information treatment. The three empirical predictions of hypothesis H2 are as follows. Empirical prediction H2a: Compared with no information, insurance information increases giving to the church.

Empirical prediction H2b: Compared with insurance information, insurance enrollment decreases giving to the church. We collect all the empirical predictions of the three different insurance hypotheses so that they can be compared and tested against one another.

H0 There is no insurance provided through the church Section IV. H0a Compared with no information, insurance information decreases giving to the church. H0b Compared with insurance information, insurance enrollment increases giving to the church.

H1 Community insurance is provided through the church Section IV. H1a Compared with no information, insurance information increases giving to the church. H1b Compared with insurance information, insurance enrollment decreases giving to the church. H2a Compared with no information, insurance information increases giving to the church.

H2b Compared with insurance information, insurance enrollment decreases giving to the church. Spiritual insurance effects should be similar across recipients. However they might be different in magnitude since, for instance, church members could see church donations as the most effective tool to decrease the probability of a loss.

Our model and experimental design do not allow us to make a clear prediction of the result if we compared the group that received no insurance information to the group that received insurance. This is because, as described in the model setup, the insurance treatment is composed of both the actual insurance effect we are interested in and a salience effect.

The model demonstrates how these effects work in opposing directions. Although we are unable to formulate an ex ante hypothesis about the overall comparison between receiving insurance and not receiving any information, we discuss the results in Section V. C , where we suggest some interpretations about the relative magnitudes we observe and discuss what they might further tell us about the potential mechanisms of church-based insurance.

Finally, our experiment allows us to test for the average behavior within the church. In Section V. E we discuss potential heterogeneity in the average treatment effect. Our main results include church members recruited during regular service weeks from 16 different church branches; we have complete sociodemographic information for of these.

The groups were balanced across treatments for all key variables except gender women tend to be overrepresented in the insurance information and no insurance groups. An F -test cannot reject the null hypothesis that these main demographic variables do not jointly explain assignment to any of the treatments. The treatment effects remain similar, with respect to magnitude and statistical significance.

Compared with the national population, our participants had lower incomes and were less likely to be employed Online Appendix A , Table We believe that this selection is not a threat to external validity: we are interested in the attitudes toward insurance in precisely this significant subgroup of the general population who are likely to be particularly vulnerable and face a greater number of formally uninsured risks. We can also compare some key demographic variables across waves of the experiment.

Online Appendix A Table 12 shows preregistered covariates, many of which differed across waves. Table 13 shows demographic variables that were not preregistered. These are not included as controls in any regressions. The time elapsed and the constraint to move the study to a different part of the city to work with church branches that were not contacted for the first wave explain the differences between the two sample populations.

These differences should certainly be kept in mind when interpreting our results. Nevertheless, we believe it reinforces the validity of our results that they should be broadly robust to such differences across waves; this indicates that we are observing features of their shared religious practice rather than idiosyncratic features of particular sociodemographic groups. In this subsection and the following, we focus on the 3 dictator games among the 10 played where anonymous donations to the three recipients were paired with the possibility of keeping the money.

Results from the other games are discussed in Section V. The histograms in Figure I plot the distributions of giving to the three different recipients. Data from participants from weeks with no revival events, pooled across both waves. Participants chose how much of an endowment to allocate between themselves and different recipients. These spikes at the extreme values highlight that allocations to the recipients may have been censored.

To account for this, we report all experimental results using a Tobit regression. Giving to the three recipients is significantly correlated, with the correlation coefficients between the pairs of choices ranging from 0. If the experimental design induced any order effects, these high degrees of correlation could be problematic for interpretations across recipients.

However, the order of dictator decisions was randomized across participants, mitigating the concern that any order effects could interact with treatment effects. We turn to the discussion of the results. Section V. C focuses on the pooled analysis. The question of the comparison of the two waves and the degree of confidence we can reasonably have in the results is discussed in Section V. We first examine the main ways donation behavior is affected by enrollment into insurance as opposed to the mere provision of insurance information.

The figure shows separate effects from wave 1 and wave 2 and two ways of aggregating the estimates, either by estimating a single effect on the pooled sample or by taking a precision-weighted mean of the separate effects as is common in meta-analytic studies Christensen, Freese, and Miguel Table III presents the regression coefficients for the two separate waves as well as for the pooled analysis.

Table III shows results of Tobit regressions with and without individual controls and dummies for individual churches—for the reasons of representativity just mentioned, the results with controls are to be preferred for hypothesis testing. Treatment effects are estimated from a comparison between insurance enrollment and insurance information.

Estimates are from Tobit regressions including preregistered covariates as controls. This table corresponds to Main Test 1 and Main Test 2. Standard errors are in parentheses below the estimates and are clustered at the session level. The dependent variable is the fraction of the endowment that a participant allocated to either their own church columns 1 and 2 , a nonprofit charity working with street children columns 3 and 4 , or a countrywide prayer event called the national day of thanksgiving columns 5 and 6.

Individual controls include age, gender, ethnicity, employment, log income , an indicator for daily church attendance, an indicator for praying multiple times a day, church fixed effects, and a dummy for the experimental wave. The size of the sample changes across columns because a computer error led to some missing demographic variables in wave 1.

Constant terms cannot be compared across waves in even-numbered columns due to the use of church fixed effects. We find that enrollment into the insurance policy decreases giving to all three recipients compared with those who only receive the information about the insurance but are not enrolled. The treatment effects are similar for the different recipients. A decrease in the amount of donations is predicted by the hypothesis that giving has some element of an insurance motivation.

In addition, the fact that amounts given to all recipients are similarly affected means that the expected insurance is through meritorious behavior in the eyes of God and not through paying in to a community insurance fund administered solely by the church. This does not constitute evidence against the existence of such community insurance mechanisms, but we do not find positive evidence of their existence here.

Finally, it is worth noting that the treatment effect is no stronger, and even somewhat weaker, for named nonanonymous donations to the church, as can be seen in Online Appendix B , Table If community insurance were the main motivation, we would expect to see stronger treatment effects for named than for anonymous donations. The treatment effects are therefore consistent with hypothesis 2 spiritual insurance and inconsistent with hypothesis 0 no insurance and hypothesis 1 community insurance.

More precisely, the results are consistent with hypotheses H2b and H2c, which predict that enrollment decreases giving to the church and other recipients, respectively. They are inconsistent with hypothesis H0b, which predicts that enrollment increases giving to the church. Although they are consistent with hypothesis H1b that enrollment decreases giving to the church , they are inconsistent with hypothesis H1c that there is no effect on the other recipients.

We report the effect on donation behavior of a more salient threat of death. Table IV , Panel A presents the results of providing insurance information on giving relative to the no insurance information treatment. Participants who received no information on the insurance donated on average Providing insurance information changes this amount by 3.

In Panels B and C, the two waves are presented separately. In the first wave, we find a significant salience effect on all recipients, but this is absent in the second wave. Comparisons of preregistered covariates and some additional variables describing church and spiritual behavior. We interpret these results with reference to our model. We model the idea that death becomes more salient with an increase in income loss D. Hypotheses H1a and H2a propose that if insurance is offered through the church either community-based or spiritual , and D is increased, then giving to the church and other recipients should increase.

We find that insurance information does not increase giving compared with no insurance. This would be consistent with H0 no insurance offered through the church if it were not for our results on enrollment. Alternatively, this is consistent with an incorrect assumption that discussions about death have the same effect as an increase in the size of D.

It is indeed likely that the discussion about death in wave 2 did not translate to a perceived increase in the size of D. The enrollment effects discussed in Section V. C are based on a measurable and economically relevant decrease in D free enrollment into an insurance policy and provide strong evidence against H0. Furthermore, variability in how insurance information makes D salient is consistent with a growing literature that shows salience effects to be context-dependent Bordalo, Gennaioli, and Shleifer Understanding which attributes of a decision problem become salient, and under which conditions, is an active area of study.

These channels highlight how the framing and context in which information is presented matter for the salience of attributes of a decision problem. Small differences in the sample population or unavoidable changes in procedure between waves 1 and 2 e. This does not imply that the effects of salience are of low scientific interest. In their sermons, pastors frequently try to make salient various life risks such as the risk of death, joblessness, or marital failure , while suggesting donations as a means of coping with these risks.

An interesting avenue for research would be to investigate which conditions need to be fulfilled to find a salience effect that increases donations. Presumably, some pastors are better at it than others. Online Appendix B , Table 17 shows that the net effect of the two treatments the salience effect plus the treatment effect of interest, which work in opposite directions is to yield an effect of receiving insurance compared with being given no information that is negative but not significant at conventional levels.

The model does not provide a clear prediction about this comparison as its sign depends on the size of the salience and the insurance effects. Panel A shows that the overall net effect is not significant. In wave 1 Panel B , the enrollment and salient effects are of similar magnitudes. In wave 2 Panel C , where we do not find a significant salience effect, the net effect of insurance is negative although not consistently significant. Church sermons themselves frequently combine the two effects salience and insurance enrollment by talking about certain risks and suggesting donations as a means of coping with these risks.

In wave 1, insurance enrollment decreased giving only in comparison with the higher donations induced by the salience effect of the insurance information treatment. However, this salience effect was not necessary to observe the enrollment effect in wave 2. As described in Section III. C , our study was conducted in two waves to verify a heterogeneous treatment effect that can be explained by our model but that we had not preregistered prior to wave 1.

We discuss the heterogeneous treatment effect in Section V. Wave 2 also enabled us to conduct a replication of the treatment effects from wave 1 in normal nonrevival weeks. This allows us to put our results in context with the growing literature on replicability of experimental results in economics and other social sciences. It does not meet the first criterion—although the wave 2 effect is in the right direction and large enough to be consistent with the results from wave 1, its p -value is greater than.

This might explain why point estimates in wave 2 are lower. This suggests that our replication, though of the same approximate size as the original experiment, has reduced power given the diminished magnitude of the treatment. The effect on giving to the thanksgiving offering is not replicated according to any criterion.

This is also the only outcome we were not able to implement in the same way as in wave 1 because the timing of the thanksgiving event was fixed as described in Section III. The national event had already happened shortly beforehand, and our participants might have felt that paying again for something that would presumably occur a year later was too distant.

The meta-analytic effect is also in the right direction, although its confidence interval includes 0. Online Appendix B , Table 18, Panel A presents the donation levels when participants had to make the choice between two recipient organizations, rather than between a single recipient and the option of keeping money for themselves. It therefore constitutes a robustness test of the previous finding that the treatment effects of salience and enrollment were similar in sign and magnitude across all three recipients, which is a prediction of the theory of spiritual insurance but not of the theory of community insurance.

We do not find that church members in the insurance enrollment treatment split their endowment significantly differently from church members who only received the information about the insurance. This therefore constitutes additional supporting evidence in favor of hypothesis 2 against hypothesis 1. How Does Insurance Work? These experimental results point to an interesting relationship between the type of benefits parishioners might believe they receive from belonging to a church and their willingness to make costly donations to that church.

First, treatment effects of insurance enrollment are present across the three recipients. If the type of insurance the participant associates with their church membership were purely community-based, there should not be a treatment effect on giving to these external recipients.

Nevertheless, we cannot rule out the simultaneous existence of community-based motives. Indeed, our questionnaire also provides support for the existence of community-based church motives for many participants in ordinary circumstances.

Our results therefore do not imply that spiritual insurance is the exclusive or even the main motive behind giving to the church and that community-based insurance does not exist. In ordinary life, church members are unlikely to think only about insurance against funeral expenses when giving donations to the church. They face many risks and challenges other than funeral expenses. Even if members think that the risks of death can be managed by undertaking actions that are meritorious in the eyes of God, they may still be attentive to the benefits that may come from direct assistance from the church when they need it.

Up to this point, we have discussed results for church members recruited during normal service weeks. In wave 1, after recruitment, we learned that two churches had hosted revival weeks during the course of our experiments. Some of their members who participated in the experiment were sampled during those revival weeks.

Revival weeks are special periods of church activity where members are encouraged to attend church daily. The services consist of prayer, teaching, singing, and exhortation to give money to the church. For two churches, we were able to randomize participation during revival and nonrevival weeks on an individual level. In total, church members across waves 1 and 2 participated in the experiment while they were in the middle of a revival week.

However, for this sample, we find important differences in treatment effects. In wave 1, wave 2, and the pooled results, we find that after being enrolled in insurance, they increased giving to the church. The coefficient on the interaction of the enrollment and the revival week is positive and large around three to four times the main treatment effect in absolute value , and significant.

These results for the total sample are displayed in Online Appendix C , Table

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