The Effect of Religion on Muslims' Charitable Contributions to Members of a Non-Muslim Majority
34 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 31, 2018
We investigate the effects of religion on charitable contributions of Muslims who are in a minority to non-Muslims who are in a majority and to fellow Muslims. We find that religious thinking leads to significantly more charitable giving by 10%. The effect of religious thinking is dependent on the ethnic identity of the recipient: we find a significant effect on giving behavior towards relatively more privileged outgroup members (Han Chinese), but a small and generally insignificant effect towards ingroup members (fellow Muslims). With religious thinking, prosocial behavior towards outgroup members is significantly higher by 14%, which is mainly explained by the religiosity of Muslims. Our results have implications for our understanding of the influence of Islamic rules on Muslims' attitudes and behavior towards non-Muslims and for the design of fundraising mechanisms in Muslim communities.
Keywords: Charitable giving; Islam; Religion; Lab-in-the-field experiment; Voting
JEL Classification: C91; C92; C99; D64; D70; H00
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