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Behavioral Consequences of Religious Education

Abu Siddique ()

Munich Papers in Political Economy from TUM School of Governance at the Technical University of Munich

Abstract: I investigate how long-term exposure to religious education affects economic behavior of children. To identify the effect of religious education, I exploit residential schools for orphans in Bangladesh that differ in terms of religious curriculum and social environment, limits transmission of beliefs and preferences from parents to children following being orphaned, makes social learning by children limited after school enrolment, and mitigates issues concerning endogenous school choice by parents. Using a lab-in-the-field experiment in this natural setting, I measure children's behavior and find that (i) children receiving religious education are more altruistic and honest relative to children receiving secular education; (ii) religious education does not affect risk aversion, cooperation, trust, and trustworthiness of children; and, (iii) behavioral differences are driven by children who are around puberty and completed primary education. My findings provide useful insights into how long-term exposure to religious education can affect behavior - possibly by shifting preferences - during childhood and adolescence.

Keywords: Economic behavior; preference formation; religious education; selection bias; lab-in-the-field experiment; Bangladesh. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C9 D91 I21 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 68 pages
Date: 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-exp and nep-soc
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