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The religious observance of Ramadan and prosocial behavior

The religious observance of Ramadan and prosocial behavior
The religious observance of Ramadan and prosocial behavior

We investigate experimentally the impact on prosocial behavior of the religious observance of Ramadan. Our sample consists of male factory workers in a manufacturing facility in Iran. In our between-subjects' design, each worker is asked to allocate an amount of money between himself and a stranger. Specifically, we examine behavior of observants and non-observants before and after the daily break of the Ramadan fast. We also examine behavior outside of Ramadan, where we treat alimentary abstention as akin to a long fasting period. We hypothesize and confirm that outside Ramadan, decision makers who abstain from any alimentary intake transfer less money to recipients relative to decision makers who do not abstain. Strikingly, this effect is reversed during the month of Ramadan. Specifically, observant workers who are in the midst of their Ramadan fast are far more generous to recipients than workers who have had their evening meal. Interestingly, observant and non-observant workers after the daily break of the Ramadan fast and workers outside Ramadan that consumed aliments make statistically similar transfers. Our findings suggest that it is the interaction between alimentary abstention and religious observance that amplifies prosocial behavior during Ramadan, where fasting is part of the ritual.
0095-2583
226-237
Haruvy, Ernan
ce3fb198-1247-4294-95f3-493cc1a2658f
Ioannou, Christos
753c2afb-918b-4576-ba47-da42502f37c9
Golshirazi, Farnoush
f80857c7-93fc-4a8b-91a0-1c52b62acfef
Haruvy, Ernan
ce3fb198-1247-4294-95f3-493cc1a2658f
Ioannou, Christos
753c2afb-918b-4576-ba47-da42502f37c9
Golshirazi, Farnoush
f80857c7-93fc-4a8b-91a0-1c52b62acfef

Haruvy, Ernan, Ioannou, Christos and Golshirazi, Farnoush (2018) The religious observance of Ramadan and prosocial behavior Economic Inquiry, 56, (1), pp. 226-237. (doi:10.1111/ecin.12480).

Record type: Article

Abstract


We investigate experimentally the impact on prosocial behavior of the religious observance of Ramadan. Our sample consists of male factory workers in a manufacturing facility in Iran. In our between-subjects' design, each worker is asked to allocate an amount of money between himself and a stranger. Specifically, we examine behavior of observants and non-observants before and after the daily break of the Ramadan fast. We also examine behavior outside of Ramadan, where we treat alimentary abstention as akin to a long fasting period. We hypothesize and confirm that outside Ramadan, decision makers who abstain from any alimentary intake transfer less money to recipients relative to decision makers who do not abstain. Strikingly, this effect is reversed during the month of Ramadan. Specifically, observant workers who are in the midst of their Ramadan fast are far more generous to recipients than workers who have had their evening meal. Interestingly, observant and non-observant workers after the daily break of the Ramadan fast and workers outside Ramadan that consumed aliments make statistically similar transfers. Our findings suggest that it is the interaction between alimentary abstention and religious observance that amplifies prosocial behavior during Ramadan, where fasting is part of the ritual.

Text accepted mss - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 25 July 2019.
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Accepted/In Press date: 17 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 July 2017
Published date: January 2018
Organisations: Economics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410300
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410300
ISSN: 0095-2583
PURE UUID: 6535d226-9402-4a17-a99b-edcea112dce5

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Date deposited: 07 Jun 2017 04:00
Last modified: 19 Feb 2018 17:32

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Contributors

Author: Ernan Haruvy
Author: Farnoush Golshirazi

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