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How do Muslims qua Muslims integrate in the US?


  • Claire L. Adida

    () (Department of Political Science, University of California San Diego - University of San Diego)

  • David D. Laitin

    () (Department of Political Science, Stanford University - Stanford University [Stanford])

  • Marie-Anne Valfort

    () (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Economic research on immigrant integration highlights the discrimination that Muslim immigrants from Muslim-majority countries face in Western labor markets. However, economists struggle to determine whether this is due to these immigrants' religion or simply their region of origin. Our objective is to isolate the religious effect from potential confounds in the context of Muslim integration in the United States. Relying on a unique survey conducted in metropolitan Detroit which allows us to hold the region of origin of the immigrant constant (Arab countries) while allowing for variation in religion (Christian versus Muslim), we investigate how Muslims qua Muslims integrate in the US relative to Christians. The data reveal that Muslim Arabs are more likely to experience disrespect, to report on media bias against them, and to fare less well in the labour market than do Arab American Christians. Moreover, the Muslim Arabs develop fewer social ties in their host country society and retain closer ties to their home country than do their Christian counterparts. Finally, the gaps in integration remain (and even widen) with the time these immigrants spend in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Claire L. Adida & David D. Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2015. "How do Muslims qua Muslims integrate in the US?," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-01316752, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:hal-01316752
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    United States; Immigrant integration; International migration; Islam;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination


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