Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental evidence from Pakistan

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Abstract

Little is known about the behavior of Madrassa (Islamic religious seminaries) students, and how other groups in their communities interact with them. To investigate this, we use data from economic decision-making experiments embedded in a survey that we collected from students pursuing bachelors-equivalent degrees in Madrassas and other educational institutions of distinct religious tendencies and socioeconomic background in Pakistan. First, we do not find that Madrassa students are less trusting of others; in fact, they exhibit the highest level of other-regarding behavior, and expect others to be the most trustworthy. Second, there is a high level of trust among all groups. Third, within each institution group, we fail to find evidence of in-group bias or systematic out-group bias either in trust or tastes. Fourth, we find that students from certain backgrounds under-estimate the trustworthiness of Madrassa students.

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Delavande, A., & Zafar, B. (2015). Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental evidence from Pakistan. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 118, 247–267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2015.03.020

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