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Altruism, reciprocity and Islamic equity finance

Yasushi Suzuki (Graduate School of International Management, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu-Shi, Japan)
Mohammad Dulal Miah (College of Economics, Management and IS, University of Nizwa, Nizwa, Oman)

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management

ISSN: 1753-8394

Article publication date: 20 June 2016




This paper argues how Islamic altruism and reciprocity can enhance or drain the supply of Islamic equity finance. The paper also analyzes the feasibility of Islamic equity finance through the lens of new institutional economics (NIE) and transaction cost economics (TCE).


One of the salient contributions by NIE is to support the proposition that effective contracting depends greatly on institutions in terms of “rules that constrain economic behavior”, including informal or intangible institutions, such as religion, culture and customary practices. This paper draws on the theoretical contributions of the NIE and TCE and applies some of these contributions to an analysis of general altruism and reciprocity in Islamic economies.


It is said that solutions based on the Islamic injunctions (collectively termed as spiritual quotient) could serve to mitigate agency risks. However, in theory, the Muslim principal (particularly fund providers) is exposed to higher agency risk unless appropriate rules of protecting the right of the principal (or of punishing the agent when its opportunistic behavior is revealed) are devised, because the Muslim fund providers have the divine obligation to share risks in enterprise under the profit-loss sharing (PLS) scheme as well as to share a portion of income with the poor or those entrepreneurs who face difficulties in fund-raising.


Many scholars refer to the lack of the “formal” institutions that hinder the sound development of Islamic venture capital (VC). This paper contributes to shedding an analytical light on the unique feature of the Muslims’ “informal” constraints which make them hesitate to invest in Islamic VC. To develop the Islamic VC market, this paper provides a theoretical background to suggest how important it would be for the national financial system to devise some tangible provisions by installing enterprise-friendly regulations as well as adequate incentive and protection mechanisms consistent with Islamic principles.



Suzuki, Y. and Miah, M.D. (2016), "Altruism, reciprocity and Islamic equity finance", International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 205-221.



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