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The Less Extreme, the More You Leave: Radical Islam and Willingness to Migrate

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  • Falco, Chiara
  • Rotondi, Valentina

Abstract

This paper studies radical Islam as a determinant of individuals’ willingness to migrate. Surprisingly, despite its relevance in the political debate, this topic has not been investigated empirically in the literature. In order to fill this gap, we develop a model of the decision to migrate focusing in particular on the role played by cultural traits. More specifically, we focus on radical Islam as a deterrent for migration. Following Berman (2003), we define radical Islam as a set of ideologies, also referred to as Political Islam, holding that Islam should guide not only personal life, but also social and political life. In our model, more radical values imply a higher psychological cost of migrating. This cost derives from the fact that connections with socio-religious friends and neighbors are generally not maintained after migration, thus deterring individuals from migrating (Mayers, 2000). We then test empirically the predictions of the model, using individual-level data from the second (2010–11) and third (2012–14) waves of the Arab Barometer. Our results suggest that, ceteris paribus, more radical individuals are less willing to migrate. This finding is robust to alternative specifications of the model and to the use of Instrumental Variables and Propensity Score Matching aimed at addressing the potential endogeneity of radical Islam. The result is also qualitatively unchanged when using aggregate data on actual outflows of migrants.

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  • Falco, Chiara & Rotondi, Valentina, 2016. "The Less Extreme, the More You Leave: Radical Islam and Willingness to Migrate," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 122-133.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:122-133
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.07.017
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    2. Valfort, Marie-Anne, 2020. "Anti-Muslim discrimination in France: Evidence from a field experiment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    3. Frédéric Docquier & Aysit Tansel & Riccardo Turati, 2017. "Do Emigrants Self-Select Along Cultural Traits? Evidence from the MENA Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 6777, CESifo.
    4. Badaoui, Eliane, 2023. "Which dimensions of religiosity matter for trust? New insights from the MENA region," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
    5. Luca Maria Pesando & Valentina Rotondi & Manuela Stranges & Ridhi Kashyap & Francesco C. Billari, 2021. "The Internetization of International Migration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 47(1), pages 79-111, March.
    6. Khandker Wahedur Rahman, 2023. "International migration and the religious schooling of children in the home country: evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 36(3), pages 1963-2005, July.
    7. Imran Arif, 2020. "The determinants of international migration: Unbundling the role of economic, political and social institutions," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(6), pages 1699-1729, June.
    8. Ruxanda Berlinschi & Jan Fidrmuc, 2018. "Comfort and Conformity: A Culture-based Theory of Migration," LICOS Discussion Papers 40518, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    9. Docquier, Frédéric & Tansel, Aysit & Turati, Riccardo, 2017. "Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA countries," MPRA Paper 82778, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Simon Winter, 2020. "“It’s the Economy, Stupid!”: On the Relative Impact of Political and Economic Determinants on Migration," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 39(2), pages 207-252, April.
    11. D'Haene, E. & Desiere, S. & D'Haese, M. & Verbeke, W. & Schoors, K., 2018. "Religion, food choices, and demand seasonality: Evidence from the Ethiopian milk market," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 276029, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Krieger, Tim, 2020. "Migration and terrorism," Discussion Paper Series 2020-06, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    13. Imran Arif & Adam Hoffer & Brad Humphreys & Matthew Style, 2022. "New sports facilities do not drive migration between US cities," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 195-217, December.
    14. Bik Kai Sia, 2017. "Intention to Migrate Among International Muslim Students in Malaysia," GATR Journals gjbssr501, Global Academy of Training and Research (GATR) Enterprise.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; culture and economics; radical Islam;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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