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Are Religious People More Prosocial? A Quasi-Experimental Study with Madrasah Pupils in a Rural Community in India

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  • Ahmed, Ali M.

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

Using quasi-experimental data, this paper examines the relationship between religiosity and prosocial behavior. In contrast to previous studies which identify religious people by how often they attend religious services or by their self-reported religiosity, this study compares the behavior of highly devout students who are preparing to enter the clergy, to the behavior of other students in a public-goods game and in the dictator game. The results show that religious students were significantly more cooperative in the public-goods game and significantly more generous in the dictator game than other students.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed, Ali M., 2008. "Are Religious People More Prosocial? A Quasi-Experimental Study with Madrasah Pupils in a Rural Community in India," Working Papers in Economics 330, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0330
    as

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/18837
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 285-300, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2006. "Religion and social preferences: An experimental study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 60-67, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
    8. Ali Ahmed, 2008. "Can education affect pro-social behavior?: Cops, economists and humanists in social dilemmas," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 298-307, March.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Preconditions of the Big Society
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-02-13 18:44:43
    2. Irritating
      by James Reade in Christianity and Econometrics on 2011-02-17 21:20:00

    More about this item

    Keywords

    generosity; trust; cooperation; religion; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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