Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1124213
 
 

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


David Clingingsmith


Case Western Reserve University

Asim Ijaz Khwaja


Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Michael Kremer


Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Center for Global Development

April 2008

HKS Working Paper No. RWP08-022

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 more a result of exposure to and interaction with Hajjis from around the world, rather than religious instruction or a changed social role of pilgrims upon return.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: Religion, Institutions, Social Interaction, Identity, Beliefs, Economics, Microeconomics, International Affairs/Globalization

JEL Classification: D74, D02, D83, Z12, Z13

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Date posted: April 23, 2008 ; Last revised: May 13, 2008

Suggested Citation

Clingingsmith, David and Khwaja, Asim Ijaz and Kremer, Michael, Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering (April 2008). HKS Working Paper No. RWP08-022. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1124213 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1124213

Contact Information

David Lawrence Clingingsmith
Case Western Reserve University ( email )
Cleveland, OH 44106
United States
Asim Ijaz Khwaja (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7790 (Phone)
617-496-5960 (Fax)
Michael Kremer
Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )
Littauer Center
Rm. 207
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Center for Global Development
2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States
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