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Is the Hand of God Involved in Human Cooperation? An Experimental Examination of the Supernatural Punishment Theory

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  • Ahmed, Ali

    ()
    (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO))

  • Salas, Osvaldo

    ()
    (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO))

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    Abstract

    This paper examines the supernatural punishment theory. The theory postulates that religion increases cooperation because religious people fear the retributions that may follow if they do not follow the rules and norms provided by the religion. We report results for a public goods experiment conducted in India, Mexico, and Sweden. By asking participants whether they are religious or not, we study whether religiosity has an effect on voluntary cooperation in the public goods game. We found no significant behavioral differences between religious and nonreligious participants in the experiment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University in its series CAFO Working Papers with number 2009:1.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: 10 Mar 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:vxcafo:2009_001

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, SE 351 95 Växjö, Sweden
    Phone: +46 470 70 87 64
    Web page: http://lnu.se/research-groups/cafo?l=en
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    Related research

    Keywords: Games; Punishment theory; Experiments; Behavioural Economics; Religion;

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    5. Heineck, Guido, 2004. "Does religion influence the labor supply of married women in Germany?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 307-328, July.
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    8. Hull, Brooks B. & Bold, Frederick, 1995. "Preaching matters: Replication and extension," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 143-149, June.
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    13. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl, 2007. "Religion and education: Evidence from the National Child Development Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 439-460, July.
    14. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Trust in Large Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    16. 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," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-07, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    17. Videras, Julio, 2006. "Religion and animal welfare: Evidence from voting data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 652-659, August.
    18. Lipford, Jody W. & Tollison, Robert D., 2003. "Religious participation and income," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 249-260, June.
    19. Granger, Maury D. & Price, Gregory N., 2007. "The tree of science and original sin: Do christian religious beliefs constrain the supply of scientists?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 144-160, February.
    20. Heath, W. C. & Waters, M. S. & Watson, J. K., 1995. "Religion and economic welfare: An empirical analysis of state per capita income," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-142, June.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Do religious people voluntary cooperate more?
      by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-07-23 12:12:01
    2. Religion and Human Rights (30): Religion, Charity and Cooperation
      by Filip Spagnoli in P.A.P.-Blog on 2010-10-20 17:36:45

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