IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/kyklos/v63y2010i2p163-175.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • Lisa Anderson
  • Jennifer Mellor
  • Jeffrey Milyo

Abstract

We examine the extent to which religious affiliation and participation are associated with other‐regarding behavior in canonical public goods and bi‐lateral trust games. In general, religious affiliation is unrelated to behavior in these experiments; further, there is only weak evidence that attendance at religious services is correlated with behavior in these games. Contrary to popular wisdom and several recent observational studies, religion is not strongly associated with increased cooperation and trust in our controlled experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2010. "Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion in Public Goods and Trust Games," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 163-175, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:63:y:2010:i:2:p:163-175
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6435.2010.00456.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2010.00456.x
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2010.00456.x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    3. James Andreoni, 1995. "Warm-Glow versus Cold-Prickle: The Effects of Positive and Negative Framing on Cooperation in Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-21.
    4. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & J�rgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, "undated". "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys," IEW - Working Papers 141, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2003. "Are Political Economists Selfish and Indoctrinated? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 448-462, July.
    7. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Mahmud, Minhaj & Martinsson, Peter, 2005. "Trust and Religion: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers in Economics 167, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    8. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Milyo, Jeffrey, 2008. "Inequality and public good provision: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1010-1028, June.
    9. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-338, May.
    10. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    11. Bruno Frey & Stephan Meier, 2005. "Selfish and Indoctrinated Economists?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 165-171, April.
    12. Tan, Jonathan H.W. & Vogel, Claudia, 2008. "Religion and trust: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 832-848, December.
    13. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
    14. Arthur C. Brooks, 2005. "Does Social Capital Make You Generous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(1), pages 1-15, March.
    15. Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2006. "Religion and social preferences: An experimental study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 60-67, January.
    16. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2004. "Social Capital and Contributions in a Public-Goods Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 373-376, May.
    17. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    18. 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.
    19. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
    20. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
    21. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    22. Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2004. "Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 171-188, June.
    23. repec:hrv:faseco:30726298 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Gustav Hansson, 2009. "What Determines Rule of Law? An Empirical Investigation of Rival Models," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 371-393, August.
    25. Giacomo Degli Antoni, 2009. "Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivations to Volunteer and Social Capital Formation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 359-370, August.
    26. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding the American Decline in Social Capital, 1952–1998," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 17-46, February.
    27. Bradley J. Ruffle & Richard H. Sosis, 2003. "Does It Pay To Pray? Evaluating the Economic Return to Religious Ritual," Experimental 0309002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    28. Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2006. "Induced heterogeneity in trust experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 223-235, September.
    29. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    31. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    32. Joshua J. Lewer & Hendrik Van den Berg, 2007. "Estimating the Institutional and Network Effects of Religious Cultures on International Trade," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 255-277, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Robert Hoffmann, 2013. "The Experimental Economics Of Religion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 813-845, December.
    2. Berggren, Niclas & Bjã˜Rnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 161-185, June.
    3. 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.
    4. El Bialy, Nora & Nicklisch, Andreas & Voigt, Stefan, 2017. "Risk-taking, Trust, and Traumatization of Refugees in Germany – A Field Experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168221, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Chuah, Swee Hoon & Gächter, Simon & Hoffmann, Robert & Tan, Jonathan H. W., 2015. "Religion, Discrimination and Trust," IZA Discussion Papers 9616, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Olof Johansson‐Stenman & Minhaj Mahmud & Peter Martinsson, 2009. "Trust and Religion: Experimental Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 462-485, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Chuah, Swee-Hoon & Hoffmann, Robert & Ramasamy, Bala & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2014. "Religion, ethnicity and cooperation: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 33-43.
    9. Gupta, Gautam & Mahmud, Minhaj & Maitra, Pushkar & Mitra, Santanu & Neelim, Ananta, 2018. "Religion, minority status, and trust: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 180-205.
    10. He, Haoran & Jiang, Shuguang, 2020. "Partisan culture, identity and corruption: An experiment based on the Chinese Communist Party," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    11. M. Niaz Asadullah, 2017. "Who Trusts Others? Community and Individual Determinants of Social Capital in a Low-Income Country," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 515-544.
    12. Arbel, Yuval & Bar-El, Ronen & Tobol, Yossef, 2016. "Fundraising to a real-life public good – evidence from the laboratory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 27-37.
    13. Alvin Etang & David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2016. "Who Votes Expressively, And Why? Experimental Evidence," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 105-116, April.
    14. Etang, Alvin & Fielding, David & Knowles, Stephen, 2012. "Giving to Africa and perceptions of poverty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 819-832.
    15. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Antonio M Espín & Shoshana Neuman, 2014. "Religious Pro-Sociality? Experimental Evidence from a Sample of 766 Spaniards," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(8), pages 1-11, August.
    16. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Antonio M. Espín & Shoshana Neuman, 2013. "Effects of Religiosity on Social Behaviour: Experimental Evidence From a Representative Sample of Spaniards," Working Papers 2013-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    17. Chuah, Swee Hoon & Gächter, Simon & Hoffmann, Robert & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2016. "Religion, discrimination and trust across three cultures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 280-301.
    18. Friedrich Schneider & Katharina Linsbauer & Friedrich Heinemann, 2015. "Religion and the Shadow Economy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 111-141, February.
    19. Jonathan Oxley, 2020. "Examining Donor Preference for Charity Religious Affiliation," Working Papers wp2020_01_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    20. Fabio Padovano & Ronald Wintrobe, 2013. "The Dictatorship of the Popes," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 365-377, August.
    21. Basedau, Matthias & Gobien, Simone & Prediger, Sebastian, 2017. "The Ambivalent Role of Religion for Sustainable Development: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," GIGA Working Papers 297, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    22. H'MADOUN, Maryam, 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 Business and Economics.
    23. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jeffrey Milyo & Jennifer M. Mellor & Lisa Anderson, 2005. "Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion and Religiosity in Public Goods and Trust Games," Working Papers 0512, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    2. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2009. "Religion and cooperation in a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 58-60, October.
    3. Robert Hoffmann, 2013. "The Experimental Economics Of Religion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 813-845, December.
    4. Tan, Jonathan H.W. & Vogel, Claudia, 2008. "Religion and trust: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 832-848, December.
    5. Robert Hoffmann, 2013. "The Experimental Economics Of Religion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 813-845, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Delavande, Adeline & Zafar, Basit, 2015. "Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 247-267.
    8. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2014. "Trust, Growth, and Well-Being: New Evidence and Policy Implications," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 2, pages 49-120, Elsevier.
    9. Etang, Alvin & Fielding, David & Knowles, Stephen, 2012. "Giving to Africa and perceptions of poverty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 819-832.
    10. Xin, Guangyi, 2017. "Trust and Economic Performance: A Panel Study," MPRA Paper 80815, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Chuah, Swee Hoon & Gächter, Simon & Hoffmann, Robert & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2016. "Religion, discrimination and trust across three cultures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 280-301.
    12. Sun-Ki Chai & Dolgorsuren Dorj & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2018. "Cultural Values and Behavior in Dictator, Ultimatum, and Trust Games: An Experimental Study," Research in Experimental Economics, in: Anna Gunnthorsdottir & Douglas A. Norton (ed.), Experimental Economics and Culture, volume 20, pages 89-166, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    13. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "An Experimental Study of the Effects of Inequality and Relative Deprivation on Trusting Behavior," Working Papers 14, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    14. Ciriolo, Emanuele, 2007. "Inequity aversion and trustees' reciprocity in the trust game," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1007-1024, December.
    15. Ahmed, Ali & Salas, Osvaldo, 2008. "Is the Hand of God Involved in Human Cooperation? An Experimental Examination of the Supernatural Punishment Theory," CAFO Working Papers 2009:1, Linnaeus University, Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics.
    16. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 645-677.
    17. Hilary, Gilles & Hui, Kai Wai, 2009. "Does religion matter in corporate decision making in America?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 455-473, September.
    18. Martin A. Leroch & Carlo Reggiani & Gianpaolo Rossini & Eugenio Zucchelli, 2014. "Religious Attitudes and Home Bias: Theory and New Evidence from Primary Data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 401-414, May.
    19. Ahmed, Ali M. & Salas, Osvaldo, 2008. "Is The Hand Of God Involved In Human Cooperation?An Experimental Examination Of The Supernatural Punishment Theory," CAFO Working Papers 2008:1, Linnaeus University, Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics.
    20. Matthias Basedau & Simone Gobien & Sebastian Prediger, 2018. "The Multidimensional Effects Of Religion On Socioeconomic Development: A Review Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 1106-1133, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:63:y:2010:i:2:p:163-175. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.