33 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 2010
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.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Benjamin, Daniel J. and Choi, James J. and Fisher, Geoffrey, Religious Identity and Economic Behavior (April 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w15925. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1594559