Northwestern Events Calendar


EDGS Research Talk:Religion’s Limits on Redistribution:Evidence from an Experiment in Nairobi, Kenya

When: Thursday, November 6, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey  

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Rachel Riedl, Political Science was awarded a research grant from EDGS. She will present her research that EDGS funded.

Since Marx and Weber, social scientists have attempted to understand the impact or lack thereof of religion on attitudes about wealth accumulation, redistribution, and inequality. However, the effect of religious ideas on these domains is difficult to identify, at the very least because citizens often select into religious associations whose messages they find appealing. We address this issue through a laboratory experiment in Nairobi, Kenya. Drawing on the content of real-world sermons, we find evidence that exposure to Christian cues can reduce egalitarianism in complex distribution decisions, compared to exposure to secular messages. We discuss implications of these findings for policy preferences in Sub-Saharan Africa well as for the study of religion and politics more generally.

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