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Envy and the Islamic revival: Experimental evidence from Tunisia

Maleke Fourati

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 4, 1194-1214

Abstract: I design and conduct a survey with an embedded lab-in-the-field experiment to test whether envy triggers popular support for the Islamic revival using a nationally representative sample of 600 Tunisians. Individuals exposed to high inequality may feel envious if they perceive that the success of others is granted rather than earned. Thus, envious individuals may be motivated to engage in religious and political activities to cope with their feelings. I trigger the sentiment of envy with a 2 × 2 design by interacting a priming video and low stakes. I find that individuals in the envy treatment donate a larger proportion of their endowment to a politically involved religious charity, my measure of support for the Islamic revival. Overall, my experimental findings, consistent with survey data, confirm the idea that envy is an important determinant of popular support for the Islamic revival, even after controlling for religiosity.

Keywords: Envy; Islamic revival; Charitable organizations; Field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D31 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:4:p:1194-1214