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How Fundamentalism Takes Root: A Simulation Study

Listed author(s):
  • Friedman, Daniel.
  • Fan, Jijian.
  • Jonathan Gair
  • Sriya Iyer
  • Bartosz Redlicki
  • Chander Velu

We report agent-based simulations of religiosity dynamics in a spatially dispersed population. Agents' religiosity responds to neighbours via pairwise interactions as well as via club goods effects. A simulation run is deemed fundamentalist if the final distribution contains a sizable minority of very high religiosity together with a majority of lesser religiosity. Such simulations are more prevalent when parameter values shift from values reflecting traditional societies towards values reflecting the modern world. The simulations suggest that the rise of fundamentalism in the modern world is boosted by greater real income, lower relative prices for secular goods, less substitutability between religious and secular goods, and less time spent with neighbours. Surprisingly, the simulations suggest little role for the rise of long distance communication and transportation.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1681.pdf
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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1681.

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Date of creation: 19 Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1681
Note: si105
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/

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  1. Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2012. "Religious Beliefs, Religious Participation, and Cooperation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 121-151, August.
  2. McBride, Michael, 2015. "Why churches need free-riders: Religious capital formation and religious group survival," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 77-87.
  3. Michael D. Makowsky, 2012. "Emergent Extremism In A Multi‐Agent Model Of Religious Clubs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 327-347, 04.
  4. Arce, Daniel G. & Sandler, Todd, 2009. "Fitting in: Group effects and the evolution of fundamentalism," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 739-757, September.
  5. Makowsky, Michael D., 2011. "Religion, clubs, and emergent social divides," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 74-87.
  6. Shy, Oz, 2007. "Dynamic models of religious conformity and conversion: Theory and calibrations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1127-1153, July.
  7. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-291, April.
  8. Gil Epstein & Ira Gang, 2007. "Understanding the development of fundamentalism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 257-271, September.
  9. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953.
  10. Daniel L. Chen, 2010. "Club Goods and Group Identity: Evidence from Islamic Resurgence during the Indonesian Financial Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 300-354, 04.
  11. Daniel G. Arce M. & Todd Sandler, 2003. "An Evolutionary Game Approach to Fundamentalism and Conflict," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 132-132, March.
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