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Religion, minority status, and trust: Evidence from a field experiment

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  • Gupta, Gautam
  • Mahmud, Minhaj
  • Maitra, Pushkar
  • Mitra, Santanu
  • Neelim, Ananta

Abstract

This paper reports the results from a lab-in-the-field experiment conducted in Bangladesh and India that examines the influence of religion and relative status on trust and trustworthiness. We find that in both locations individuals with minority status, irrespective of their religion, exhibit positive in-group bias in trust, while individuals with majority status show positive out-group bias in trustworthiness. This suggests that behavior is not driven by religious identity per se but is highly influenced by the relative status it generates within the population. Within both groups, heterogeneity with respect to how strongly individuals associate with the group identity affects behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:180-205
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.11.028
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Fonseca, Miguel A. & Ghosh, Sudeep & Marjit, Sugata, 2016. "Religious fragmentation, social identity and cooperation: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment in India," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 265-279.
    2. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2018. "Civility and Trust in Social Media," IZA Discussion Papers 11290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trust; Religion; Status; In-group and out-group; Field experiment; South asia;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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