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

  • Ahmed, Ali M.

    ()

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

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    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.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/18837
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    Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 330.

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    Length: 20 pages
    Date of creation: 08 Dec 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0330
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
    Phone: 031-773 10 00
    Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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    1. 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.
    2. 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, 07.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 S285-300, October.
    8. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
    9. Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2006. "Religion and social preferences: An experimental study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 60-67, January.
    10. 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.
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