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Anwar Shah, Karim Khan and Hayat Khan

The mainstream economic theory assumes that individuals’ preferences are exogenous and self-regarding. However, the laboratory experiments show that in most of the cases, individuals’ preferences exhibit regard for others. It is widely believed that values and norms can foster the other-regarding behaviour by constraining selfishness. This does not imply that selfish behaviour is dead as there is enough experimental evidence that other-regarding individuals use information asymmetry for their personal gains. In this study, while controlling for one aspect of values, that is, religion, we investigate whether individuals behave significantly differently when we control for their religiosity. We examine the behaviours of proposers in a modified ultimatum game after priming their religious identity. Using hadith, saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH), as a priming instrument, we find that most of the proposers make equitable offers to the responders as compared to the controlled treatment. This is in spite of the fact that the proposers could use information asymmetry regarding the size of the pie for maximizing their private gains. The study suggests that promoting universal values can be beneficial for the promotion of pro-social or other-regarding behaviour.

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M. Kabir Hassan

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Edited by M. Kabir Hassan

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  • KDI/EWC series on Economic Policy

Edited by Dongsoo Kang and Andrew Mason

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  • KDI/EWC series on Economic Policy

Dongsoo Kang and Andrew Mason

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  • ADBI series on Asian Economic Integration and Cooperation

Jacques Silber and Guanghua Wan

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  • ADBI series on Asian Economic Integration and Cooperation

Edited by Jacques Silber and Guanghua Wan

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  • KDI/EWC series on Economic Policy

Edited by Dongsoo Kang and Andrew Mason

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  • ADBI series on Asian Economic Integration and Cooperation

Edited by Jacques Silber and Guanghua Wan

This content is available to you

  • KDI/EWC series on Economic Policy

Edited by Dongsoo Kang and Andrew Mason