Chatting at Church: Information Diffusion through Religious Networks

78 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2019 Last revised: 21 Jan 2021

See all articles by David M. A. Murphy

David M. A. Murphy

Colgate University

Vesall Nourani

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

David R. Lee

Applied Economics & Management, Cornell University

Date Written: November 3, 2019

Abstract

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

Murphy, David M. A. and Nourani, Vesall and Lee, David R., Chatting at Church: Information Diffusion through Religious Networks (November 3, 2019). Review of Economics and Statistics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3493304 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3493304

David M. A. Murphy (Contact Author)

Colgate University ( email )

13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.davidmurphyecon.com

Vesall Nourani

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

David R. Lee

Applied Economics & Management, Cornell University ( email )

248 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aem.cornell.edu/noflash.htm

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