Witchcraft beliefs and the erosion of social capital: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa and Beyond

Journal of Development Economics Vol/Iss. 120 Elsevier Amsterdam Published In Pages: 182-208
By Gershman, Boris


Certain other supernatural beliefs will be significantly associated with trust for people of other religions


Of the 18 variables, 8 variables were significantly correlated in some way with trust for people of different religions. The seven significant negative predictors of trust for people of different religons are regional beliefs in miracles, evil spirits, sacrifices, and juju and personal beliefs in heaven, hell, and evil spirits. The one significant positive predictors of trust for people of different religions is a regional belief in hell.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
OLSSupport for 8 of 10 variables - see note for directionsp<0.1Multiple r valuesUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
TrustDependent variableDrives And Emotions
Belief in ReincarnationIndependent variableEschatology
Belief in heavenIndependent variableEschatology
Belief in hellIndependent variableEschatology
Belief in angelsIndependent variableSpirits And Gods
Belief in miraclesIndependent variableMagic
Belief in evil spiritsIndependent variableSpirits And Gods
Belief in sacrificesIndependent variablePrayers And Sacrifices
Belief in shamansIndependent variableShamans And Psychotherapists
Belief in jujuIndependent variableMagic