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Preferences for Religious Giving
Initial registration date
February 11, 2015
February 11, 2015 1:55 AM EST
Toulouse School of Economics(IAST)
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
This study investigates why people give money to religious organizations, using a laboratory experiment in Accra, Ghana. In particular, we seek to understand to what extent religious organizations such as churches and mosques provide informal insurance to households. Although contracts exist with quite low premiums, less than 1% of Ghanaian households are insured. With 96% of inhabitants reporting themselves to be religious, beliefs in a God play a major role in the daily lives of many Ghanaians. Much of this religious activity is backed by regular and significant contributions to the church through tithes, regular offering, and other forms of giving. We offer households a range of incentivized choices between donations to religious organizations and other financial options. We implement treatments including increasing the perceived risk of life accidents and the provision of free insurance to observe the effect on the demand for religious giving. We compare populations of church members and a control group drawn from the general population.
The study will be conducted in two parts: first, a survey covering demographic
questions and religious beliefs and behaviour and second, a decision task
presenting participants with binary choices on ways to spend 11GHS. Our interest is to investigate the effect of increasing the salience of life accidents risk and the effect of providing individuals an insurance policy on their preferences for making donations to different causes.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome variable is the potential difference in donations between individuals endowed with treatments and individuals without, and difference between active church members of a specific denomination and a control group.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We divide the subjects into three groups; 1/3 of the subjects will be allocated with a life insurance policy, 1/3 of the
participants will be told about, but not endowed with, this insurance policy, and 1/3 of the participants will form the control group. The study will be carried out in two populations. The church group will consist of people recruited from the Assemblies of God church and the general group will be recruited from the Kaneshie market in Accra.
Experimental Design Details
Draw a sealed enveloppe by a participant
Randomization at the session level
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
at least 36 sessions
Sample size: planned number of observations
at least 360 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
at least 12 sessions with insurance, 12 sessions with increased perceived risk, 12 control sessions; half of them with church members, half of them with market members
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)