DP6666 The Big Carrot: High Stake Incentives Revisited

Author(s): Pablo Brañas-Garza, Teresa García-Muñoz, Shoshana Neuman
Publication Date: January 2008
Keyword(s): carrot/stick, Economics of Religion, high stakes, punishment, rewards
JEL(s): C91, D64, Z13
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6666

This paper provides an empirical demonstration of high stakes incentives in relation to religious practice. It shows that, when both positive (carrot) and negative (stick) incentives are available, the former are more effective than the latter. Specifically, it is shown that beliefs in heaven are much more relevant than beliefs in hell when estimating the production of religious commodities (church-attendance and praying equations).