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Religious Affiliation and Participation as Determinants of Women's Educational Attainment and Wages

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  • Lehrer, Evelyn L.

    () (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Abstract

Using a human capital model, this paper develops hypotheses about how religious affiliation and participation during childhood influence years of schooling completed and subsequent performance in the labor market as measured by wages. The hypotheses are tested using data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, a large-scale survey addressed to a representative sample of women in the United States. Religious affiliation is found to have a significant impact on years of schooling completed, with the effects being particularly pronounced for Jews and conservative Protestants. The impact of religious affiliation on wages largely mirrors its influence on educational attainment, although evidence of additional effects operating through other channels is also uncovered. In addition, the results show that youth who attend religious services frequently during childhood go on to complete more years of schooling than their less observant counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Lehrer, Evelyn L., 2005. "Religious Affiliation and Participation as Determinants of Women's Educational Attainment and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 1725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1725
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Labor Supply and Investment in Child Quality: A Study of Jewish and Non-Jewish Women," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 700-703, November.
    2. Evelyn Lehrer, 1996. "Religion as a determinant of marital fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 173-196, June.
    3. Levin, Jeffrey S., 1994. "Religion and health: Is there an association, is it valid, and is it causal?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1475-1482, June.
    4. Brenner, Reuven & Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1981. "The Economics of the Diaspora: Discrimination and Occupational Structure," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 517-534, April.
    5. Evelyn Lehrer & Carmel Chiswick, 1993. "Religion as a determinant of marital stability," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(3), pages 385-404, August.
    6. Evelyn Lehrer, 2004. "Religiosity as a Determinant of Educational Attainment: The Case of Conservative Protestant Women in the United States," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 203-219, June.
    7. Linda J. Waite & Evelyn L. Lehrer, 2003. "The Benefits from Marriage and Religion in the United States: A Comparative Analysis," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 255-275.
    8. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Card & Martin D. Dooley & A. Abigail Payne, 2010. "School Competition and Efficiency with Publicly Funded Catholic Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 150-176, October.
    2. Evelyn Lehrer, 2006. "Religion and high-school graduation: a comparative analysis of patterns for white and black young women," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 277-293, September.
    3. Hajj, Mandana & Panizza, Ugo, 2009. "Religion and education gender gap: Are Muslims different?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 337-344, June.
    4. Martin Ryan & Siobhan McCarthy & Carol Newman, 2007. "Household Characteristics of Higher Education Participants," Working Papers 200702, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R. & Huang, Jidong, 2006. "The Earnings of American Jewish Men: Human Capital, Denomination and Religiosity," IZA Discussion Papers 2301, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Lehrer, Evelyn L. & Lehrer, Vivian L. & Krauss, Ramona, 2009. "Religion and Intimate Partner Violence in Chile: Macro- and Micro-Level Influences," IZA Discussion Papers 4067, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; religion; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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