Religion and Tradition in Conflict. Experimentally Testing the Power of Social Norms to Invalidate Religious Law

63 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2021

See all articles by Christoph Engel

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Klaus Heine

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law

Shaheen Naseer

Lahore School of Economics

Date Written: May 28, 2021

Abstract

Often, religion, law and tradition co-evolve. Religious precepts shape social practice, which translates into law. Yet this harmony is not universal. The Sharia guarantees daughters their share in the family estate. Yet in Pakistan, this rule clashes with tradition. While the country was jointly governed with (mainly Hindu) India, it had been customary that the entire estate goes to the eldest son. Combining a survey with a lab in the field experiment, we show that this is still the descriptive and the injunctive norm. Yet participants have a strong preference for the conflict to be dissolved by legislative intervention.

Keywords: religious norm, legal rule, descriptive and injunctive social norm, inheritance, gender discrimination, Sharia, experiment

JEL Classification: C91, C93, D01, D15, D31, D63, J16, K00, O12, O53, R22

Suggested Citation

Engel, Christoph and Heine, Klaus and Naseer, Shaheen, Religion and Tradition in Conflict. Experimentally Testing the Power of Social Norms to Invalidate Religious Law (May 28, 2021). MPI Collective Goods Discussion Paper, No. 2021/13, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3855377 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3855377

Christoph Engel (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

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University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

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Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

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Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
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Klaus Heine

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Shaheen Naseer

Lahore School of Economics ( email )

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