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Incentives in Religious Performance: a Stochastic Dominance Approach


  • Tere M. García-Muñoz

    () (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)


Using a stochastic dominance approach in an international dataset of about 10,000 Catholic subjects, we show that incentives (based on absolute belief) play a crucial role in religious practice (church attendance and prayer). Furthermore, we find that when both positive (heaven) and negative (hell) incentives are available, the former have a much stronger effect than the latter. The results are confirmed using Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests.

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  • Tere M. García-Muñoz, 2009. "Incentives in Religious Performance: a Stochastic Dominance Approach," ThE Papers 09/10, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  • Handle: RePEc:gra:wpaper:09/10

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    1. Pyne, Derek Arnold, 2010. "A model of religion and death," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 46-54, January.
    2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    3. S. Brock Blomberg & Thomas DeLeire & Gregory D. Hess, 2006. "The (After) Life-Cycle Theory of Religious Contributions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1854, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2008. "Punishment and counter-punishment in public good games: Can we really govern ourselves," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-112, February.
    5. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
    6. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
    7. James Andreoni & William Harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2003. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 893-902, June.
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    Incentives; rewards; punishment; Economics of Religion;

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