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Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: A Theory of the Islamic Revival in Egypt

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  • Binzel, Christine

    () (Heidelberg University)

  • Carvalho, Jean-Paul

    () (University of California, Irvine)

Abstract

This paper examines the economic origins of the Islamic revival that took place in Egypt in the 1970-80s, and in Muslim societies more generally. We provide the first systematic evidence of a decline in social mobility among educated youth in Egypt. Developing a behavioral model of religion, we then characterize conditions under which a temporary decline in social mobility produces a large and long-lasting rise in religious participation. Religion in our model helps to cope with loss, which occurs when one's consumption falls below an expectations-based reference point. The model provides an explanation for why the educated middle class were in the vanguard of the Islamic revival. Rather than undermining religious belief and participation, our analysis suggests that economic development can make societies more prone to religious revivals.

Suggested Citation

  • Binzel, Christine & Carvalho, Jean-Paul, 2013. "Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: A Theory of the Islamic Revival in Egypt," IZA Discussion Papers 7259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7259
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    Cited by:

    1. Facundo Albornoz & Antonio Cabrales & Esther Hauk, 2014. "Which club should I attend, Dad?: Targeted socialization and production," Working Papers 2014-20, FEDEA.
    2. Rachel E. Kranton, 2016. "Identity Economics 2016: Where Do Social Distinctions and Norms Come From?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 405-409, May.
    3. Albornoz, Facundo & Cabrales, Antonio & Hauk, Esther, 2016. "Targeted socialization and production," CRETA Online Discussion Paper Series 23, Centre for Research in Economic Theory and its Applications CRETA.
    4. Nelly El-Mallakh & Mathilde Maurel & Biagio Speciale, 2015. "Arab Spring Protests and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian Revolution," Working Papers 957, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2015.
    5. Antonio Estache & Maleke Fourati, 2017. "Infrastructure Provision, Politics and Religion: Insights from Tunisia's New Democracy," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-24, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Nelly EL MALLAKH & Mathilde MAUREL & Biagio SPECIALE, 2014. "Women and political change: Evidence from the Egyptian revolution," Working Papers P116, FERDI.
    7. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-01309651 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Sriya Iyer, 2016. "The New Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 395-441, June.
    9. Assaad, Ragui & Krafft, Caroline, 2017. "Excluded Generation: The Growing Challenges of Labor Market Insertion for Egyptian Youth," GLO Discussion Paper Series 110, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    10. Maleke Fourati & Gabriele Gratton & Pauline Grosjean, 2016. "Render Unto Caesar: Taxes, Charity, and Political Islam," Discussion Papers 2016-08, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    11. Driouchi, Ahmed & Gamar, Alae, 2016. "The Gap between Educational & Social Intergenerational Mobility in Arab Countries," MPRA Paper 73998, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Driouchi, Ahmed & Harkat, Tahar, 2017. "An Empirical Descriptive Analysis of the Factors underlying the Role of Younger Generations in Economic, Social & Political Changes in Arab Countries," MPRA Paper 77216, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Islamic revival; education; social mobility; inequality; social movements; Egypt;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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