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Gender, Economic Development and Islam: A Perspective from France

  • Adida, Claire L.


    (University of California, San Diego)

  • Laitin, David D.


    (Stanford University)

  • Valfort, Marie-Anne


    (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Registered author(s):

    Muslims do less well on the French labor market than their non Muslim counterparts. One explanation for this relative failure can be characterized by the following syllogism: (1) the empowerment of women is a sine qua non for economic progress; (2) in-group norms among Muslims do not empower women; and hence (3) Muslim communities will underperform economically relative to non-Muslim communities. This paper, relying on a unique identification strategy that isolates religion from national origin and ethnicity, and on experimental as well as survey evidence collected in France, puts this syllogism to a test. Our data show that Muslim and Christian gender norms are as postulated. However, the correlations between Muslim vs. Christian immigrants and the channels purported to link in-group gender norms to economic progress are weak and inconsistent. Speculations are offered on the intervening variables that mitigate the effect of Muslim gender norms on economic performance.

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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6421.

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    Length: 52 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6421
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