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Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion in Public Goods and Trust Games

  • Lisa R. Anderson

    ()

    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • Jennifer M. Mellor

    ()

    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • Jeffrey Milyo

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Missouri)

Observational studies frequently support the popular belief that religion is associated with more other-regarding behavior; however, such studies are well known to be susceptible to the confounding effects of unobserved determinants of cooperation and trust. We test whether religious affiliation and participation in religious services are associated with behavior in public goods and trust games. Contrary to popular wisdom, religious affiliation is unrelated to individual behavior. However, we do find some weak evidence that among subjects attending religious services, increased participation is associated with behavior in both public goods and trust games.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 20.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 03 Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:20
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