Does religiosity influence venture capital investment decisions?

Justin Chircop, Sofia Johan, Monika Tarsalewska* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Theories on contextual behavior (e.g., social norm, self-identity, and legitimacy theories) suggest that the religiosity of the geographical area in which an organization operates influences its behavior. Using a sample of 91,020 VC investments in the U.S., we study whether religiosity influences VC investment decisions. Based on prior literature that finds a positive relation between religiosity and risk aversion, we posit that VCs located in more religious counties make less risky investments. We find that VCs located in more religious areas are more likely to be involved in staging and syndication and have a greater propensity to invest in later and expansion stages of portfolio companies. Taken together, our results suggest that VCs located in religious counties tend to be more risk averse.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101589
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Corporate Finance
Early online date8 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

We thank the Philip Kim, Thomas Standaert, and Entfin, EFA, INFINITI, AMA conference participants for their comments and suggestions. Sofia Johan gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Social Sciences and Research Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC). All errors are our own.


  • religiosity
  • venture capital
  • risk aversion
  • Risk aversion
  • Venture capital
  • Religiosity


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