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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Facing misfortune: expenditures on magico-religious powers for cure and protection in Benin
Authors:LeMay-Boucher, Philippe
Noret, JoŽlISNI
Somville, VincentISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Economies (ISSN 0963-8024)
Geographic term:Benin
household expenditure
External link:https://jae.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/2/300.full.pdf
Abstract:Drawing on data collected in Cotonou (southern Benin), the authors highlight the importance of magico-religious expenditures within Beninese households. They focus on magico-religious powers used to cure and protect oneself or relatives against negative health shocks and other misfortunes. Their questionnaire elicits information on expenditures on magico-religious diagnosis, prevention and treatment in the 12 months prior to the survey. Far from being anecdotal, the data show that out of the 178 households in the sample, 48 percent have declared some magico-religious expenditures. For these household heads, these expenditures represented on average 5.6 percent of all expenditures. Using an econometric analysis, the authors test several conjectures that can be found in the relevant literature as to what variables drive magico-religious expenditures. They find that the main determinants are economic success and tensions within the family and that economically successful agents resort to magico-religious expenditures as a substitute for transfers to acquaintances and relatives in dealing with redistributive pressures. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]