Does it pay to pray? Costly ritual and cooperation
Time-consuming and costly religious rituals pose a puzzle for economists committed to rational choice theories of human behavior. We propose that either through selection or a causal relationship, the performance of religious rituals is associated with higher levels of cooperation. To test this hypothesis we design field experiments to measure the in-group cooperative behavior of members of religious and secular Israeli kibbutzim, communal societies for which mutual cooperation is a matter of survival. Our results show that religious males (the primary practitioners of collective religious ritual in Orthodox Judaism) are more cooperative than religious females, secular males and secular females. Moreover, the frequency with which religious males engage in collective religious rituals predicts well their degree of cooperative behavior.
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.:
- 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.
- Bradley Ruffle & Richard Sosis, 2006. "Cooperation and the in-group-out-group bias: A field test on israeli kibbutz members and city residents," Artefactual Field Experiments 00104, The Field Experiments Website.
- Bradley J. Ruffle & Richard H. Sosis, 2003. "Cooperation and the In-Group-Out-Group Bias: A Field Test on Israeli Kibbutz Members and City Residents," Experimental 0310002, EconWPA.
- 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 271-91, April.
- Olof Johansson Stenman & Minhaj Mahmud & Peter Martinsson, 2006.
"Trust and Religion: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh,"
Keele Economics Research Papers
KERP 2006/10, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
- Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Mahmud, Minhaj & Martinsson, Peter, 2005. "Trust and Religion: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers in Economics 167, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Eli Berman, 2000.
"Sect, Subsidy, And Sacrifice: An Economist'S View Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953, August.
- Eli Berman, 1998. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," NBER Working Papers 6715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jean Ensminger, 1997. "Transaction Costs and Islam: Explaining Conversion in Africa," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(1), pages 4-, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00014. 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: (Joe Seidel)
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.