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Yusri will present his manuscript, “The Puzzle of Cash Waqf Contributions in the Islamic Economy.” An abstract is below, and the manuscript is attached. Dr. Clair Yang from the Jackson School of International Studies will serve as the faculty discussant.
Abstract: Under Islamic law traditional waqfs are endowments comprising properties in which the initial owner has endowed for some particular socio-religious ends or for the benefit of certain individuals. In recent decades cash waqfs have emerged as an increasingly popular alternative, where cash is pooled from various individuals to achieve the same ends traditional waqfs serve. If cash waqf participation is one among many options for charitable work, why would Muslims specifically choose to contribute to cash waqfs? On top of explanations related to religious capital, I propose that (1) those who are more risk-taking are more likely to participate in cash waqf schemes as these programs have only become popular in recent times and do not lend towards immediate and tangible benefits for the participant, and (2) those who have trust in the institutions that administer cash waqfs are more likely to contribute to them. Based on a survey conducted in Malaysia in December 2019, I find that only certain aspects of religious capital are significant and positive predictors of cash waqf contributions. I also find some evidence for the risk factor hypothesis but almost none for the trust hypothesis.