Faith plays a major role in many Americans’ lives, affecting their outlook on morality, politics and even – according to a new study – investing.

The study, conducted at the University of Georgia and Southern Methodist University, found that the predominant religion in a community affects the decision-making process of mutual fund managers in that community, specifically when it comes to risk.

Mutual funds in counties with larger Catholic communities tend to embrace risk more than those in majority-Protestant counties, the study found. Earlier studies have found that Catholics are generally more prone to take speculative risks than the average population, while Protestants are more risk-averse than the average population.

The findings, which will be published next month in the academic journal Management Science, could help provoke a re-evaluation of how investing works, its authors said.

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