Staff Reports
Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan
June 2011  Number 501
Revised January 2013
JEL classification: C90, C70, Z12

Authors: Adeline Delavande and  Basit Zafar

Little is known about the behavior of Madrassa (Islamic religious seminaries) students, how Madrassas shape their behavior, and how other groups in their communities interact with them. To investigate this, we use experimental data that we collected from students pursuing bachelor’s-equivalent degrees in Madrassas and other educational institutions of distinct religious tendencies and socioeconomic background in Pakistan. First, we find that Madrassa students are the most trusting, 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 underestimate the trustworthiness of Madrassa students.

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