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Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering

Author

Listed:
  • Clingingsmith, David

    (Case Western Reserve University)

  • Khwaja, Asim Ijaz
  • Kremer, Michael

Abstract

We estimate the impact on pilgrims of performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Our method compares successful and unsuccessful applicants in a lottery used by Pakistan to allocate Hajj visas. Pilgrim accounts stress that the Hajj leads to a feeling of unity with fellow Muslims, but outsiders have sometimes feared that this could be accompanied by antipathy toward non-Muslims. We find that participation in the Hajj increases observance of global Islamic practices, such as prayer and fasting, while decreasing participation in localized practices and beliefs, such as the use of amulets and dowry. It increases belief in equality and harmony among ethnic groups and Islamic sects and leads to more favorable attitudes toward women, including greater acceptance of female education and employment. Increased unity within the Islamic world is not accompanied by antipathy toward non-Muslims. Instead, Hajjis show increased belief in peace, and in equality and harmony among adherents of different religions. The evidence suggests that these changes are likely due to exposure and interaction with Hajjis from around the world, rather than a changed social role of pilgrims upon return.

Suggested Citation

  • Clingingsmith, David & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Kremer, Michael, 2017. "Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering," SocArXiv a7q5m, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:a7q5m
    DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/a7q5m
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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