Chatting at Church: Information Diffusion through Religious Networks
78 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2019 Last revised: 21 Jan 2021
Date Written: November 3, 2019
This paper shows the causal relationship between mutual religious association and the formation of social ties. We analyze dyadic relationships and show that joint attendance at a religious institution (RI) increases the probability of sharing information with and trusting a peer. We use a novel spatial instrumental variable strategy that combines insights from homestead inheritance institutions with triangular distances between peers and RI locations within villages in Kenya. We find that shared attendance at a RI increases the likelihood of receiving advice from a peer by 30 percentage points, demonstrating the strong impact of ``weak ties'' formed through social spaces.
Keywords: Information diffusion, technology adoption, religion, kenya, churches, africa, social ties
JEL Classification: Z12, O33, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation