Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 111
Charitable giving is one of the major obligations Islam and a strong Muslim norm endorses giving to the needy, but discourages public displays of giving. This norm is puzzling in light of previous evidence, suggesting that making donations public often increases giving. We use an experiment to assess the effects this moral prescription on actual giving levels in an anonymous and in a public setting. We conducted two field experiments with 534 and 186 subjects at Moroccan educational institutions. Subjects who participated in a paid study were given the option to donate from their payment to a local orphanage, under treatments that varied the publicity of the donation and the salience of Islamic values. In the salient Islamic treatment, anonymity of donations significantly increased donation incidence as well as average donations for religious subjects. This stands in stark contrast to most previous findings in the charitable giving literature.
Charitable giving Islam Social pressure Priming Religion Norms Field experiment