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The Long‐run Effect of 9/11: Terrorism, Backlash, and the Assimilation of Muslim Immigrants in the West

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  • Eric D. Gould
  • Esteban F. Klor

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the 9/11 attacks will have a long-term impact by altering the fertility and assimilation rate of immigrants from Muslim countries in the United States. Terror attacks by Islamic groups are likely to induce a backlash against the Muslim community, and therefore, tend to raise the costs of assimilation for Muslims in the West. We test this hypothesis by exploiting variation across states in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Our results show that Muslim immigrants living in states which experienced the sharpest increase in hate crimes also exhibit: (i) greater chances of marrying within their own ethnic group; (ii) higher fertility; (iii) lower female labor force participation; and (iv) lower English proficiency. Importantly, the state-level increase in hate crimes against Muslims after the 9/11 attacks was not correlated with the pre-existing state-level trend in any of these assimilation outcomes. Moreover, we do not find similar effects for any other immigrant group after the 9/11 attacks. Overall, our results show that the backlash induced by the 9/11 attacks increased the ethnic identity and demographic strength of the Muslim immigrant community in the U.S. These findings shed light on the increasing use of terror attacks on Western countries, with the concurrent rise in social and political tensions surrounding the assimilation of Muslim immigrants in several European countries.
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Suggested Citation

  • Eric D. Gould & Esteban F. Klor, 2016. "The Long‐run Effect of 9/11: Terrorism, Backlash, and the Assimilation of Muslim Immigrants in the West," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(597), pages 2064-2114, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:597:p:2064-2114
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2016.126.issue-597
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jaeger, David A. & Klor, Esteban F. & Miaari, Sami H. & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2012. "The struggle for Palestinian hearts and minds: Violence and public opinion in the Second Intifada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 354-368.
    2. Benmelech, Efraim & Berrebi, Claude & Klor, Esteban F, 2010. "Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism," CEPR Discussion Papers 7995, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2004. "On Terrorism and Electoral Outcomes: Theory and Evidence from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Working Papers 4, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    5. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi, 2007. "Human Capital and the Productivity of Suicide Bombers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 223-238, Summer.
    6. B. Peter Rosendorff & Todd Sandler, 2004. "Too Much of a Good Thing?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 48(5), pages 657-671, October.
    7. David Clingingsmith & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Michael Kremer, 2009. "Estimating the Impact of The Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1133-1170.
    8. Javier Gardeazabal, 2010. "Vote Shares in Spanish General Elections as a Fractional Response to the Economy and Conflict," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 33, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 445-456, 04-05.
    10. Nils Braakmann, 2010. "Islamistic Terror And The Labour Market Prospects Of Arab Men In England: Does A Country'S Direct Involvement Matter?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(4), pages 430-454, September.
    11. Neeraj Kaushal & Robert Kaestner & Cordelia Reimers, 2007. "Labor Market Effects of September 11th on Arab and Muslim Residents of the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    12. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993. "Terrorism and signalling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 383-397, August.
    13. Alberto Dávila & Marie Mora, 2005. "Changes in the earnings of Arab men in the US between 2000 and 2002," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(4), pages 587-601, November.
    14. Dominic Rohner & Bruno Frey, 2007. "Blood and ink! The common-interest-game between terrorists and the media," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 129-145, October.
    15. Claire L. Adida & David D. Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2016. "?One Muslim is Enough!? Evidence from a Field Experiment in France," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 121-122, pages 121-160.
    16. Olof Åslund & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2005. "Shifts in attitudes and labor market discrimination: Swedish experiences after 9-11," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(4), pages 603-629, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria D. C. Garcia­Alonso & Zaki Wahhaj, 2018. "Social Diversity and Bridging Identity," Studies in Economics 1802, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    2. Claire Adida & David Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2014. "Muslims in France: identifying a discriminatory equilibrium," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1039-1086, October.
    3. Zussman, Asaf, 2014. "The effect of political violence on religiosity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 64-83.
    4. Caruso Raul & Klor Esteban F., 2012. "Political Economy Studies on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Introduction," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 1-10, August.
    5. Colussi, Tommaso & Isphording, Ingo E. & Pestel, Nico, 2016. "Minority Salience and Political Extremism," IZA Discussion Papers 10417, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. repec:kap:pubcho:v:173:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0477-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Efraim Benmelech & Esteban F. Klor, 2016. "What Explains the Flow of Foreign Fighters to ISIS?," NBER Working Papers 22190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sekou KEITA & Jérome VALETTE, 2016. "Natives’ attitudes and immigrants’ unemployment durations," Working Papers 201623, CERDI.
    9. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2018:n:450 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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