Religious Identity and Economic Behavior
Daniel J. Benjamin
Cornell University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
James J. Choi
Yale School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
California Institute of Technology
NBER Working Paper No. w15925
We randomly vary religious identity salience in laboratory subjects to test how identity salience contributes to six hypothesized links from prior literature between religious identity and economic behavior. We find that religious identity salience makes Protestants increase contributions to public goods. Catholics decrease contributions to public goods, expect others to contribute less to public goods, and become less risk averse. Jews more strongly reciprocate as an employee in a bilateral labor market gift-exchange game. We find no evidence of religious identity salience effects on disutility of work effort, discount rates, or generosity in a dictator game.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Date posted: April 26, 2010
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