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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:20
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    File URL: http://economics.wm.edu/wp/cwm_wp20rev3.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Hoffmann, 2013. "The Experimental Economics Of Religion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 813-845, December.
    2. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2013. "Does religiosity promote property rights and the rule of law?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 161-185, June.
    3. Maryam Dilmaghani, 2012. "Global financial crisis: dharmic transgressions and solutions," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(1), pages 55-80, January.
    4. Chuah, Swee Hoon & Gächter, Simon & Hoffmann, Robert & Tan, Jonathan H. W., 2015. "Religion, Discrimination and Trust," IZA Discussion Papers 9616, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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, July.
    6. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Is the importance of religion in daily life related to social trust? Cross-country and cross-state comparisons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 459-480.
    7. M. Niaz Asadullah, 2017. "Who Trusts Others? Community and Individual Determinants of Social Capital in a Low-Income Country," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 515-544.
    8. Etang, Alvin & Fielding, David & Knowles, Stephen, 2012. "Giving to Africa and perceptions of poverty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 819-832.
    9. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Antonio M. Espín & Shoshana Neuman, 2013. "Effects of Religiosity on Social Behaviour: Experimental Evidence From a Representative Sample of Spaniards," Working Papers 2013-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    10. H'MADOUN, Maryam, 2011. "Afraid of God or afraid of man: How religion shapes attitudes toward free riding and fraud," Working Papers 2011008, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    11. Akay, Alpaslan & Karabulut, Gökhan & Martinsson, Peter, 2011. "The Effect of Religion on Cooperation and Altruistic Punishment: Experimental Evidence from Public Goods Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 6179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    religion; Public goods; experiments; religion; social capital and trust;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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