nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2009‒03‒07
one paper chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Is the Hand of God Involved in Human Cooperation? An Experimental Examination of the Supernatural Punishment Theory By Ahmed, Ali; Salas, Osvaldo

  1. By: Ahmed, Ali (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO)); Salas, Osvaldo (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO))
    Abstract: This paper examines the supernatural punishment theory. The theory postulates that religion increases cooperation because religious people fear the retributions that may follow if they do not follow the rules and norms provided by the religion. We report results for a public goods experiment conducted in India, Mexico, and Sweden. By asking participants whether they are religious or not, we study whether religiosity has an effect on voluntary cooperation in the public goods game. We found no significant behavioral differences between religious and nonreligious participants in the experiment.
    Keywords: Games; Punishment theory; Experiments; Behavioural Economics; Religion
    JEL: C71 C90 D01
    Date: 2008–03–10

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