IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8496.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Love Thy Neighbor: Religion and Prosocial Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Heineck, Guido

    () (University of Bamberg)

Abstract

There is a long tradition in psychology, the social sciences and, more recently though, economics to hypothesize that religion enhances prosocial behavior. Evidence from both survey and experimental data however yield mixed results and there is barely any evidence for Germany. This study adds to this literature by exploring data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), which provides both attitudinal (importance of helping others, of being socially active) and behavioral components of prosociality (volunteering, charitable giving and blood donations). Results from analyses that avoid issues of reverse causality suggest mainly for moderate, positive effects of individuals' religious involvement as measured by church affiliation and church attendance. Despite the historic divide in religion, results in West and East Germany do not differ substantially.

Suggested Citation

  • Heineck, Guido, 2014. "Love Thy Neighbor: Religion and Prosocial Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 8496, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8496
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8496.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2012. "Religious Beliefs, Religious Participation, and Cooperation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 121-151, August.
    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. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    7. Pablo Brañas‐Garza & Máximo Rossi & Dayna Zaclicever, 2009. "Individual's Religiosity Enhances Trust: Latin American Evidence for the Puzzle," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2‐3), pages 555-566, March.
    8. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & J�rgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, "undated". "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys," IEW - Working Papers 141, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    9. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
    10. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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 271-291, April.
    14. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    15. Jan Goebel & Martin Gornig & Hartmut Häußermann, 2010. "Polarisierung der Einkommen: die Mittelschicht verliert," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 77(24), pages 2-8.
    16. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lena Dräger & Christian R. Proaño, 2015. "Cross-Border Banking and Business Cycles in Asymmetric Currency Unions," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201501, University of Hamburg, Department of Socioeconomics.
    2. Herold, Florian & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2020. "The evolution of taking roles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 38-63.
    3. Meyer, Dietmar & Shera, Adela, 2015. "Remittances' impact on the labor supply and on the deficit of current account," BERG Working Paper Series 97, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    4. Lojak, Benjamin, 2016. "Sentiment-driven investment, non-linear corporate debt dynamics and co-existing business cycle regimes," BERG Working Paper Series 112, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    5. Schmitt, Noemi & Westerhoff, Frank, 2018. "Evolutionary Competition And Profit Taxes: Market Stability Versus Tax Burden," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(8), pages 2007-2031, December.
    6. Noemi Schmitt & Frank Westerhoff, 2017. "Herding behaviour and volatility clustering in financial markets," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(8), pages 1187-1203, August.
    7. Schmitt, Noemi & Tuinstra, Jan & Westerhoff, Frank, 2017. "Side effects of nonlinear profit taxes in an evolutionary market entry model: Abrupt changes, coexisting attractors and hysteresis problems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 15-38.
    8. March, Christoph & Sahm, Marco, 2017. "Asymmetric discouragement in asymmetric contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 23-27.
    9. Fatoke Dato, Mafaizath A., 2015. "Impact of income shock on children’s schooling and labor in a West African country," MPRA Paper 64317, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Fatoke-Dato, Mafaïzath A., 2015. "Impact of an educational demand-and-supply policy on girls' education in West Africa: Heterogeneity in income, school environment and ethnicity," BERG Working Paper Series 101, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    11. González-Díaz, Julio & Herold, Florian & Domínguez, Diego, 2016. "Strategic sequential voting," BERG Working Paper Series 113, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    12. Bexheti, Abdylmenaf & Mustafi, Besime, 2015. "Impact of public funding of education on economic growth in Macedonia," BERG Working Paper Series 98, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    13. Sahm, Marco, 2017. "Are sequential round-robin tournaments discriminatory?," BERG Working Paper Series 121, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    14. Proaño, Christian R. & Lojak, Benjamin, 2015. "Debt stabilization and macroeconomic volatility in monetary unions under heterogeneous sovereign risk perceptions," BERG Working Paper Series 106, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    15. Sahm, Marco, 2016. "Advance-purchase financing of projects with few buyers," BERG Working Paper Series 118, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    16. Sahm, Marco, 2017. "Risk aversion and prudence in contests," BERG Working Paper Series 120, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Naef, Michael & Schupp, Jürgen, 2009. "Measuring Trust: Experiments and Surveys in Contrast and Combination," IZA Discussion Papers 4087, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2010. "Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion in Public Goods and Trust Games," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 163-175, May.
    5. Sriya Iyer, 2016. "The New Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 395-441, June.
    6. Papa Stefano, 2011. "Oltre l’egoismo: L’approccio comportamentale alle preferenze," wp.comunite 0077, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    7. Robert Hoffmann, 2013. "The Experimental Economics Of Religion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 813-845, December.
    8. Frey, Bruno S. & Meier, Stephan, 2004. "Pro-social behavior in a natural setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 65-88, May.
    9. Chuah, Swee Hoon & Gächter, Simon & Hoffmann, Robert & Tan, Jonathan H. W., 2015. "Religion, Discrimination and Trust," IZA Discussion Papers 9616, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Michaeli, Moti, 2020. "Grouping, in-group bias and the cost of cheating," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 90-107.
    11. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2005. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism – Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 66, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    12. 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.
    13. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2009. "Religion and cooperation in a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 58-60, October.
    14. Chuah, Swee Hoon & Gächter, Simon & Hoffmann, Robert & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2016. "Religion, discrimination and trust across three cultures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 280-301.
    15. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "Representative Trust And Reciprocity: Prevalence And Determinants," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(1), pages 84-90, January.
    16. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, "undated". "Pro-Social Behavior, Reciprocity or Both?," IEW - Working Papers 107, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    17. Cecere, Grazia & Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2014. "Waste prevention and social preferences: the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 163-176.
    18. Paola Sapienza & Anna Toldra‐Simats & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Understanding Trust," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1313-1332, December.
    19. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, "undated". "Why Social Preferences Matter - The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition," IEW - Working Papers 084, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    20. Dimitrova-Grajzl Valentina & Grajzl Peter & Guse A. Joseph & Smith J. Taylor, 2016. "Racial Group Affinity and Religious Giving: Evidence from Congregation-Level Panel Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 689-725, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany; prosocial behavior; religion;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8496. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.