The Effects of Religiosity and Social Capital on Civic Engagement in Qatar
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Few studies have examined the role of religiosity and social capital on civic engagement in the context of a Muslim country. In this paper, we explore the impact of religiosity and social capital on charitable donations and volunteerism in Qatar. Drawing on a nationally representative survey from Qatar, we consider various attitudinal and behavioral measures for capturing religiosity and social capital. The results indicate that, even after controlling for a wide range of demographic variables, behavioral measures have a stronger effect than attitudes. Individuals who regularly perform daily prayers are more likely to donate than those individuals who simply describe themselves as religious. Similarly, individuals who are more active in their neighborhood engagement are more likely to volunteer than those who merely report high levels of social trust. These results suggest that when it comes to the relationship between religiosity, social capital and civic engagement, individual behavior is much more predictive than attitudes alone. We also find that even in the case of Qatar, where citizen wealth has rapidly increased in the last few decades, there is little evidence of substitution effects: citizens do not appear to trade-off or substitute between time and money. Instead, more religious and active citizens are likely to do both.
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