Thursday, March 12, 2009

Envious Revivalism

I come across an interesting job market paper (download the pdf in the relevant link) on a theory of the Islamic revival by Jean-Paul Carvalho of Oxford University. He wrote that the origins of Islamic revival since 1970s in developing countries are traced to a growth reversal that failed to deliver the promise for upward mobility; and increasing inequality that hit the lower middle class.

Perhaps you may not even need economics to come up with this conclusion.

But, what makes his paper interesting from economics perspective is the use of a behavioral economics model of religion based on psychological notions of envy and unfulfilled aspiration. Here, the agents have reference-dependent preferences, contrary to Becker-Stigler approach for independent and stable preference.

Math aside, the paper gives interesting survey on Islamic revivalism. Now, regardless your economics knowledge, do you think envy and unfulfilled aspiration motives explain what has been going on in Indonesia?

No comments:

Post a Comment