The Effect of Religion on Muslims' Charitable Contributions to Members of a Non-Muslim Majority

34 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2018

See all articles by Rebecca Morton

Rebecca Morton

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Kai Ou

Florida State University

Xiangdong Qin

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management

Date Written: July 31, 2018

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Morton, Rebecca and Ou, Kai and Qin, Xiangdong, The Effect of Religion on Muslims' Charitable Contributions to Members of a Non-Muslim Majority (July 31, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3231623 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3231623

Rebecca Morton

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-3706 (Phone)

Kai Ou (Contact Author)

Florida State University ( email )

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

Xiangdong Qin

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management ( email )

No.535 Fahuazhen Road
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Shanghai, Shanghai 200052
China

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