Religion, minority status, and trust: evidence from a field experiment

Gautam Gupta, Minhaj Mahmud, Pushkar Maitra, Santanu Mitra, Ananta Neelim

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24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the results from a lab-in-the-field experiment conducted in Bangladesh and India that examines the influence of religion and relative status on trust and trustworthiness. We find that in both locations individuals with minority status, irrespective of their religion, exhibit positive in-group bias in trust, while individuals with majority status show positive out-group bias in trustworthiness. This suggests that behavior is not driven by religious identity per se but is highly influenced by the relative status it generates within the population. Within both groups, heterogeneity with respect to how strongly individuals associate with the group identity affects behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-205
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Field experiment
  • In-group and out-group
  • Religion
  • South asia
  • Status
  • Trust

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