The effect of religion on Muslims’ charitable contributions to members of a non-Muslim majority

Rebecca B. Morton, Kai Ou, Xiangdong Qin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    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 toward relatively more privileged out-group members (Han Chinese), but a small and generally insignificant effect toward in-group members (fellow Muslims). With religious thinking, prosocial behavior toward out-group 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 toward non-Muslims and for the design of fundraising mechanisms in Muslim communities.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)433-448
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Public Economic Theory
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Finance
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Economics and Econometrics

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