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Political Secularism and Muslim Integration in the West: Assessing the Effects of the French Headscarf Ban




In response to rising immigration flows and the fear of Islamic radicalization, several Western countries have enacted policies to restrict religious expression and emphasize secularism and Western values. Despite intense public debate, there is little systematic evidence on how such policies influence the behavior of the religious minorities they target. In this paper, we use rich quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate the effects of the 2004 French headscarf ban on the socioeconomic integration of French Muslim women. We find that the law reduces the secondary educational attainment of Muslim girls and affects their trajectory in the labor market and family composition in the long run. We provide evidence that the ban operates through increased perceptions of discrimination and that it strengthens both national and religious identities.

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  • Abdelgadir, Aala & Fouka, Vasiliki, 2020. "Political Secularism and Muslim Integration in the West: Assessing the Effects of the French Headscarf Ban," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-723, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:114:y:2020:i:3:p:707-723_10

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan I Block & Rohan Dutta & David K Levine, 2021. "Leaders and Social Norms: On the Emergence of Consensus or Conflict," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000001758, David K. Levine.
    2. Jaschke Philipp & Sulin Sardoschau & Marco Tabellini, 2021. "Scared Straight? Threat and Assimilation of Refugees in Germany," RF Berlin - CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2136, Rockwool Foundation Berlin (RF Berlin) - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM).
    3. Philipp Jaschke & Sulin Sardoschau & Marco Tabellini, 2023. "Scared Straight? Threat and Assimilation of Refugees in Germany," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 384, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    4. Grossmann, Jakub & Jurajda, Štepán & Roesel, Felix, 2021. "Forced Migration, Staying Minorities, and New Societies: Evidence from Post-War Czechoslovakia," IZA Discussion Papers 14191, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Tabellini, Marco, 2021. "Faith and Assimilation: Italian Immigrants in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 14567, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Alberto Alesina & Marco Tabellini, 2024. "The Political Effects of Immigration: Culture or Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 5-46, March.
    7. Carvalho, Jean-Paul & Koyama, Mark, 2013. "Resisting Education," MPRA Paper 48048, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Michael Bailey & Drew M. Johnston & Martin Koenen & Theresa Kuchler & Dominic Russel & Johannes Stroebel, 2022. "The Social Integration of International Migrants: Evidence from the Networks of Syrians in Germany," NBER Working Papers 29925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Xuedan YAO, 2022. "The French policy of immigrant integration - return to laïcité," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 14(1), pages 69-84, May.
    10. Jaschke, Philipp & Sardoschau, Sulin & Tabellini, Marco, 2021. "Scared Straight? Threat and Assimilation of Refugees in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 14962, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Chen, Shuo & Xie, Bin, 2020. "Institutional Discrimination and Assimilation: Evidence from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882," IZA Discussion Papers 13647, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Niels Boissonnet & Alexis Ghersengorin, 2022. "Reactance: a Freedom-Based Theory of Choice," Working Papers hal-03672722, HAL.

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