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Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion in Public Goods and Trust Games

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Author Info

  • Lisa R. Anderson

    ()
    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • Jennifer M. Mellor

    ()
    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • Jeffrey Milyo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Missouri)

Abstract

Observational studies frequently support the popular belief that religion is associated with more other-regarding behavior; however, such studies are well known to be susceptible to the confounding effects of unobserved determinants of cooperation and trust. We test whether religious affiliation and participation in religious services are associated with behavior in public goods and trust games. Contrary to popular wisdom, religious affiliation is unrelated to individual behavior. However, we do find some weak evidence that among subjects attending religious services, increased participation is associated with behavior in both public goods and trust games.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 20.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 03 Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:20

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Keywords: religion; Public goods; experiments; religion; social capital and trust;

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References

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  3. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2004. "Giving to Secular Causes by the Religious and Nonreligious: An Experimental Test of the Responsiveness of Giving to Subsidies," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-07, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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  19. repec:att:wimass:9406 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alvin Etang Ndip & David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2010. "Giving to Africa and Perceptions of Poverty," Working Papers 1008, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2010.
  2. Maryam Dilmaghani, 2012. "Global financial crisis: dharmic transgressions and solutions," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(1), pages 55-80, January.
  3. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Is the importance of religion in daily life related to social trust? Cross-country and cross-state comparisons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 459-480.
  4. Akay, Alpaslan & Karabulut, Gökhan & Martinsson, Peter, 2011. "The Effect of Religion on Cooperation and Altruistic Punishment: Experimental Evidence from Public Goods Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 6179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Robert Hoffmann, 2011. "The Experimental Economics of Religion," ICBBR Working Papers 17, International Centre for Behavioural Business Research.
  6. H'madoun M., 2011. "Afraid of God or Afraid of Man: How religion shapes attitudes toward free riding and fraud," Working Papers 2011008, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.

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