Does It Pay To Pray? Evaluating the Economic Return to Religious Ritual
Time-consuming and costly religious rituals pose a puzzle for economists committed to rational choice theories of human behavior. We propose that religious rituals promote in-group trust and cooperation that help to overcome collective-action problems. We test this hypothesis on communal societies for whom mutual cooperation is a matter of survival. We design field experiments to measure the in-group cooperative behavior of members of religious and secular Israeli kibbutzim. Our results show that religious males (the primary practitioners of collective religious ritual in Orthodox Judaism) are more cooperative than religious females, secular males and secular females. Moreover, the frequency with which religious males engage in collective religious rituals predicts well their degree of cooperative behavior. We use our results to understand differences in the return to religious observance in capitalist and developing economies.
|Date of creation:||18 Sep 2003|
|Note:||Type of Document - Microsoft Word; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP; pages: 345,395,4323247 ; figures: included. We never published this piece and now we would like to reduce our mailing and xerox cost by posting it.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bradley Ruffle & Richard Sosis, 2003. "Religious ritual and cooperation: Testing for a relationship on israeli religious and secular kibbutzim," Artefactual Field Experiments 00103, The Field Experiments Website.
- Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
- 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.
- Bradley J. Ruffle & Richard H. Sosis, 2003. "Cooperation and the In-Group-Out-Group Bias: A Field Test on Israeli Kibbutz Members and City Residents," Experimental 0310002, EconWPA.
- 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.
- Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
- Eli Berman, 1998.
"Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews,"
NBER Working Papers
6715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953.
- Eli Berman, 2003. "Hamas, Taliban and the Jewish Underground: An Economist's View of Radical Religious Militias," NBER Working Papers 10004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jean Ensminger, 1997. "Transaction Costs and Islam: Explaining Conversion in Africa," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(1), pages 4-, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0309002. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.