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On the norms of charitable giving in Islam: Two field experiments in Morocco

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  • Lambarraa, Fatima
  • Riener, Gerhard

Abstract

Charitable giving is one of the major obligations in Islam and a strong Muslim norm endorses giving to the needy, but discourages public displays of giving. We report the results two field experiments with 534 and 200 participants at Moroccan educational institutions to assess the effects of this moral prescription on actual giving levels in anonymous and public settings. Subjects who participated in a paid study were given the option to donate from their payment to a local orphanage, under treatments that varied the publicity of the donation and the salience of Islamic values using either Arabic or French instructions. In the salient Islamic treatment, anonymity of donations significantly increased donation incidence from 59% to 77% percent as well as average donations for religious subjects from 8.90 to 13.00Dh out of possibly 30Dh. These findings stand in stark contrast to most previous findings in the charitable giving literature and suggest to reconsider potential fundraising strategies in Muslim populations.

Suggested Citation

  • Lambarraa, Fatima & Riener, Gerhard, 2015. "On the norms of charitable giving in Islam: Two field experiments in Morocco," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 69-84.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:118:y:2015:i:c:p:69-84
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.05.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gary Bolton & Eugen Dimant & Ulrich Schmidt, 2018. "When a Nudge Backfires. Using Observation with Social and Economic Incentives to Promote Pro-Social Behavior," PPE Working Papers 0017, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Shibly Shahrier & Koji Kotani & Makoto Kakinaka, 2017. "Religiosity may not be a panacea: Importance of prosociality to maintain humanitarian donations," Working Papers SDES-2017-23, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Nov 2017.
    3. Jang, Chaning & Lynham, John, 2015. "Where do social preferences come from?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 25-28.
    4. repec:eee:eecrev:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:21-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:deveco:v:129:y:2017:i:c:p:47-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nelson, Katherine M. & Schlüter, Achim & Vance, Colin, 2016. "Funding conservation locally: Insights from behavioral experiments in Indonesia," Ruhr Economic Papers 652, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

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