Faculty Colloquium: George Gu

Please join us on Friday, October 11th, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: George Gu, Assistant Professor of Finance George Gu

Title: “Local Religious Belief and Workplace Safety”

Abstract: We study the impact of local religiosity on establishment-level workplace safety. Consistent with the view that religious people are more risk averse, we document a significant negative effect of religiosity in a county on worker injury rates in establishments located in the county. We also find that the effect of local religiosity on worker safety is primarily driven by Protestant religion. Lastly, we identify two channels by which local religiosity affects worker safety. Religious managers are more risk averse so they increase investment conducive to safety (the managerial safety investment channel). Religious rank-and-file workers are more risk averse so they comply with safety protocol more diligently and assert greater caution at work (the worker safety compliance channel). Interestingly we find that religiosity local to a firm’s headquarter has no significant effect on worker safety outcomes, safety investments, or overall safety ratings, suggesting the importance of middle level managers and rank-and-file workers (rather than top management) in shaping worker safety policy. Our results imply that local religious beliefs have a subtle yet important impact on employee welfare.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the second TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-University gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators