Religion, Minority Status and Trust: Evidence from a Field Experiment
AbstractIt is now well accepted that trust is crucial for economic and social development. There is also evidence that religion strongly affects how individuals act when interacting with others. The same is true of status. Using a field experiment conducted in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India, two regions, which are similar in terms of socioeconomic characteristics, ethnicity and language but have different religious composition, this paper examines whether religion or minority status affect trusts among different segments of the population. Our results show that it is minority status rather than religion that drives behavior. In both countries individuals belonging to the minority group (Muslims in West Bengal and Hindus in Bangladesh) exhibit positive in-group bias in trust behavior, while individuals belonging to the majority group in both countries (Hindus in West Bengla and Muslims in Bangladesh) show positive out-group bias in trustworthiness. The driver of this bias is however different across the two countries. Finally we find that the extent of in-group bias is systematically higher for religious individuals than non-religious individuals.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 28-13.
Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
Web page: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
- C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-08-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2013-08-05 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2013-08-05 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2013-08-05 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2013-08-05 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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