A Study on the Supply and Demand for Magico-Religious Protection in Benin

Faculty Research Grant
Grant Year

Qualitative research has shown that the widespread belief in occult forces affects the lives of people in many signiIicant ways. These impacts include marginalization, tension, conIlict, violence, and human rights violations, and can adversely affect the execution and outcomes of development, relief, and other public outreach programs.

Given the scale of this phenomenon, a deeper knowledge on the mechanisms and household characteristics under which medical pluralism occurs is of interest to anybody whose work relies on a better understanding of health provision in the West-African context.

This research project will look at the factors underlying the management of the occult sphere among rural and urban households in Benin, West Africa. The proposed research project is a follow-up on an earlier more modest one based on data collection in Benin in 2006. The proposed follow-up project intends to provide a comprehensive account of the demand and supply of occult expenditure:

1. What are the determinants of occult expenditure?

2. What are the mechanisms underlying the pricing of the different magicoreligious insurance or protective products?