Religion as Insurance

In times of tragedy many people respond by buying insurance or relying heavily on their social support.  Economists are starting to look at religious beliefs as both a social support and a tangible benefit, like insurance.  Religion may not only act as a stress relief in faith-based worship, it may also work to help people recovery from accidents and tragedies.

This article in the New York Time explains the work of three economists, Dehejia, DeLeire, and Luttmer.  They look at the amount of money given to the church based on income and the subject’s personal happiness.  Their results were not conclusive, because in times of tragedies the congregation is destroyed as well.  This would leave the church unable to help all those in need.  What about the church as a whole not just one local church?

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/08/business/08scene.html

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