Religion and Intragroup Cooperation: Preliminary Results of a Comparative Analysis of Utopian Communities

  title={Religion and Intragroup Cooperation: Preliminary Results of a Comparative Analysis of Utopian Communities},
  author={Richard Sosis},
  journal={Cross-Cultural Research},
  pages={70 - 87}
  • R. Sosis
  • Published 1 February 2000
  • Economics
  • Cross-Cultural Research
Several authors have argued that religious beliefs are a way of communicating commitment and loyalty to other group members. The advantage of commitment signals is that they can promote intragroup cooperation by overcoming the free-rider problems that plague most cooperative pursuits. In this article, the author tests this idea using a database on 19th century utopian communes. The economic success and survival of utopian communes is dependent upon solving the collective-action problem of… 

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