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‘And Forgive Us Our Debts’: Do Christian Moralities Influence Over-indebtedness of Individuals?

This paper analyses whether Christian moralities and rules formed differently by Catholics and Protestants impact the likelihood of households to become overindebted. We find that over-indebtedness is lower in regions in which Catholics outweigh Protestants, indicating that Catholics‘ forgiveness culture and a stricter enforcement of rules by Protestants serve as explanations for our results. Our results provide evidence that religion affects the financial situations of individuals and show that even 500 years after the split between Catholics and Protestants, the differences in the mind-sets of both denominations play an important role for situations of severe financial conditions.

19. March 2019

Authors Iftekhar Hasan Konstantin Kiesel Felix Noth

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Professor Iftekhar Hasan, PhD
Professor Iftekhar Hasan, PhD
Economist

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