Religious fragmentation, social identity and cooperation: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment in India

Surajeet Chakravarty, Miguel A. Fonseca, Sudeep Ghosh, Sugata Marjit

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We study the role of village-level religious fragmentation on intra- and inter-group cooperation in India. We report on data on two-player prisoners׳ dilemma and stag hunt experiments played by 516 Hindu and Muslim participants in rural India. Our treatments are the identity of the two players and the degree of village-level religious heterogeneity. In religiously heterogeneous villages, cooperation rates in the prisoners׳ dilemma, and to a lesser extent the stag hunt game, are higher when subjects of either religion play with a fellow in-group member than when they play with an out-group member or with someone whose identity is unknown. Interestingly, cooperation rates among people of the same religion are significantly lower in homogeneous villages than in fragmented villages in both games.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-279
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Artefactual field experiment
  • Social fragmentation
  • Social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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