Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan

57 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2011 Last revised: 15 Dec 2011

See all articles by Adeline Delavande

Adeline Delavande

New University of Lisbon - Faculdade de Economia

Basit Zafar

Arizona State University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 6, 2011


Little is known about the behavior of Madrassa (Islamic religious seminaries) students, how Madrassas shape their behavior, and how other groups in their communities interact with them. To investigate this, we use experimental data that we collected from students pursuing bachelors-equivalent degrees in Madrassas and other educational institutions of distinct religious tendencies and socioeconomic background in Pakistan. First, we find that Madrassa students are the most trusting, exhibit the highest level of other-regarding behavior and expect others to be the most trustworthy. Evidence from a variety of identification strategies suggests that the higher pro-social behavior of Madrassa students can be attributed, at least in part, to Madrassa attendance. Second, there is a high level of trust among all groups. Third, within each institution group, we fail to find evidence of in-group bias or systematic out-group bias either in trust or tastes. Fourth, we find that students from certain backgrounds under-estimate the trustworthiness of Madrassa students.

Keywords: Trust, Unconditional Other-regarding behavior, Identity, Religion, Expectations, Discrimination

JEL Classification: C91, C92, I20, Z12

Suggested Citation

Delavande, Adeline and Zafar, Basit, Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan (May 6, 2011). RAND Working Paper Series WR- 859. Available at SSRN: or

Adeline Delavande (Contact Author)

New University of Lisbon - Faculdade de Economia ( email )

Campus de Campolide
Lisboa, 1099-032
+35 1 21 380 16 00 (Phone)
+35 1 21 387 09 33 (Fax)


Basit Zafar

Arizona State University ( email )

WP Carey School of Business, ASU
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States
9179326564 (Phone)

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