IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Experimental Economics of Religion

  • Robert Hoffmann


    (Nottingham University Business School)

This article surveys the experimental economics approach to the study of religion. The field has a place in the context of the scientific study of religion generally and the social psychology of religion in particular, but employs distinct economic methods which promise new and different insights. In particular, certain features of the experimental approach as used by economists such as incentive compatibility are particularly appropriate for studying the effect of religion on individual behaviour. The paper discusses results obtained so far in terms of two roles of religion in shaping individual behaviour, i.e. as a social group identifier and as a set of values.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2011-07.

in new window

Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2011-07
Contact details of provider: Postal: University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD
Phone: +44 (0) 115 951 5620
Fax: +44 (0) 115 951 4159
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. 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.
  4. Swee Hoon Chuah & Robert Hoffmann & Martin Jones & Geoffrey Williams, 2004. "Do Cultures Clash? Evidence from Cross-National Ultimatum Game Experiments," Occasional Papers 9, Industrial Economics Division.
  5. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital And Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 909, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
  7. Ruffle, Bradley J. & Sosis, Richard, 2006. "Cooperation and the in-group-out-group bias: A field test on Israeli kibbutz members and city residents," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 147-163, June.
  8. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, . "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.
  9. Klaus Abbink & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2008. "The Pleasure of Being Nasty," FEMM Working Papers 08037, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  10. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine, 2003. "On Representative Trust," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,24, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  11. Ruffle Bradley J. & Sosis Richard, 2007. "Does It Pay To Pray? Costly Ritual and Cooperation," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-37, March.
  12. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  13. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2005. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange," CEPR Discussion Papers 4837, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  16. 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.
  17. Ali M. Ahmed & Osvaldo Salas, 2009. "Is the hand of God involved in human cooperation?," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 70-80, January.
  18. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  19. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  20. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kroger, 2005. "On Representative Social Capital," Cahiers de recherche 0504, CIRPEE.
  21. Burns, Justine, 2006. "Racial stereotypes, stigma and trust in post-apartheid South Africa," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 805-821, September.
  22. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion in Public Goods and Trust Games," Working Papers 20, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  23. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  24. Bradley Ruffle & Richard Sosis, 2003. "Religious ritual and cooperation: Testing for a relationship on israeli religious and secular kibbutzim," Artefactual Field Experiments 00103, The Field Experiments Website.
  25. 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.
  26. Miller, Jeffrey B., 1998. "Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 833-835, December.
  27. Colin F. Camerer, 1997. "Progress in Behavioral Game Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 167-188, Fall.
  28. Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2006. "Religion and social preferences: An experimental study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 60-67, January.
  29. 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, 07.
  30. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  31. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
  32. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  33. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2011-07. 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: (Alex Possajennikov)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.