The Effect of Religion on Cooperation and Altruistic Punishment: Experimental Evidence from Public Goods Experiments

40 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2011

See all articles by Alpaslan Akay

Alpaslan Akay

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Gokhan Karabulut

Istanbul University; istanbul üniversitesi

Peter Martinsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics and Statistics

Abstract

This paper experimentally examines how religious festivals and the degree of religiosity affect cooperation and altruistic punishment by using public goods experiments. We conducted the experiments in Turkey at different points in time; one on the most religious day during Ramadan (the Night of Power – Laylat al-Qadr) and the other at a time without any religious festivals other than the normal daily prayers. The overall results show no differences in cooperation or altruistic punishment among individuals during Ramadan, even when the degree of their religiosity varied. However, less religious people did change their cooperative behaviour in response to religious festivals. Most of the differences can, however, be explained by differences in beliefs about others contributions. By and large, this indicates the importance of conditional cooperation.

Keywords: cooperation, experiment, public goods, punishment, religion

JEL Classification: C72, C91, H41

Suggested Citation

Akay, Alpaslan and Karabulut, Gokhan and Martinsson, Peter, The Effect of Religion on Cooperation and Altruistic Punishment: Experimental Evidence from Public Goods Experiments. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6179, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1970774

Alpaslan Akay (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Gokhan Karabulut

Istanbul University ( email )

Istanbul
Turkey

istanbul üniversitesi ( email )

34459 Istanbul
Turkey
05309304154 (Phone)
34684 (Fax)

Peter Martinsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

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