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Religious Homophily in a Secular Country: Evidence from a Voting Game in France


  • 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)


Homophily—the tendency individuals have to associate with similar-others—is a powerful determinant of social networks. Yet research to date does not allow us to determine which dimension, e.g., ethnic, religious, gender, age, or class similarity, drives association. Tests demonstrating homophily are flawed by restricting the range of dimensions in the choice set. We introduce an experimental game in which we exogenously expose subjects to diverse partners to determine which dimension dominates. We find that in a socio-demographically diverse district of Paris, despite expectations of secularization, religious similarity significantly predicts homophily. Moreover, we provide tentative evidence that religious homophily is taste-based.

Suggested Citation

  • Claire L. Adida & David D. Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2015. "Religious Homophily in a Secular Country: Evidence from a Voting Game in France," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-01316758, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:hal-01316758
    DOI: 10.1111/ecin.12192
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Yannelis, Constantine, 2012. "Indiscriminate discrimination: A correspondence test for ethnic homophily in the Chicago labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 824-832.
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    5. Claire L. Adida & David D. Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2010. "Identifying barriers to Muslim integration in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00618060, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge & Kjetil Bjorvatn & Simon Galle & Edward Miguel & Daniel N. Posner & Bertil Tungodden & Kelly Zhang, 2015. "How Strong are Ethnic Preferences?," NBER Working Papers 21715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:spr:jecfin:v:41:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12197-017-9389-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    social networks; homophily;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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