IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bgu/wpaper/1002.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do religious contexts elicit more trust and altruism? An experiment on Facebook

Author

Listed:
  • Bradley J. Ruffle

    () (Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

  • Richard Sosis

    (Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut)

Abstract

We design a decision-making scenario experiment on Facebook to measure subjects’ altruism and trust toward attendees of a religious service, a fitness class and a local music performance. Secular and religious subjects alike display significantly more altruism and trust toward the synagogue attendees than participants at the other two venues. By all measures of religiosity, even the most secular subjects behave more prosocially in the religious venue than in the comparable non-religious settings. We also find that secular subjects are just as altruistic toward synagogue and prayer group members as religious subjects are. These findings support recent theories that emphasize the pivotal role of religious context in arousing high levels of prosociality among those who are religious. Finally, our results offer startlingly little evidence for the widely documented religious-secular divide in Israel.

Suggested Citation

  • Bradley J. Ruffle & Richard Sosis, 2010. "Do religious contexts elicit more trust and altruism? An experiment on Facebook," Working Papers 1002, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bgu:wpaper:1002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/humsos/Econ/Workingpapers/1002.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone & Andrea Tesei, 2012. "Oil Price Shocks, Income, and Democracy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 389-399, May.
    2. Oguzhan Dincer & Eric Uslaner, 2010. "Trust and growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 59-67, January.
    3. Sergei Guriev & Maxim Ananiev, 2015. "Effect of Income on Trust: Evidence from the 2009 Crisis in Russia," Sciences Po publications 2015-02, Sciences Po.
    4. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Social Capital as Good Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 295-320, 04-05.
    5. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    6. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2014. "Trust, Growth, and Well-Being: New Evidence and Policy Implications," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 2, pages 49-120 Elsevier.
    7. Bjrnskov, Christian, 2009. "Social trust and the growth of schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 249-257, April.
    8. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Social Capital as Good Culture," NBER Working Papers 13712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, January.
    10. Christian Bjørnskov & Gert Svendsen, 2013. "Does social trust determine the size of the welfare state? Evidence using historical identification," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 269-286, October.
    11. Christian Bjørnskov, 2010. "How does social trust lead to better governance? An attempt to separate electoral and bureaucratic mechanisms," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 323-346, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Some benefits of religion
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-02-10 19:54:16

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Czerniak, Adam, 2010. "Symptomy kryzysu globalnego a etyka gospodarcza religii światowych. Analiza porównawcza bankowości islamskiej i bankowości klasycznej w kontekście kryzysu finansowego
      [The differences between the c
      ," MPRA Paper 26971, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Anja Koebrich Leon & Christian Pfeifer, 2013. "An Empirical Note on Religiosity and Social Trust using German Survey Data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 753-763.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    religion; trust; altruism; religious context; religious-secular conflict;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:bgu:wpaper:1002. 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: (Aamer Abu-Qarn). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edbguil.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.