Why are Muslims Left Behind in Education? Evidence from Indonesia

35 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2009

See all articles by Daniel Suryadarma

Daniel Suryadarma

Australian National University (ANU) - Arndt-Corden Department of Economics; SMERU Research Institute

Date Written: July 31, 2009


This paper measures and investigates the reasons for the gap in secondary education progression between Muslims and non-Muslims. The analysis is done using a panel dataset from Indonesia that follows 3rd to 6th grade students over 14 years, until the sample is well beyond secondary school age. Muslim males face a lower chance of enrolling in college compared to non-Muslim males, while among females the gap is largest at senior secondary enrolment. The paper finds that equalising two sets of covariates, scholastic ability and parental education, removes most of the gap. Using the same methodology, the paper finds that the renowned lack of gender education gap among Muslims in Indonesia is due to females’ higher scholastic ability. Equalising this difference unearths a substantial male advantage in senior secondary enrolment and removes the female advantage in post-secondary enrolment.

Keywords: Islam, secondary education, Indonesia

JEL Classification: I21, I28, O15, Z12

Suggested Citation

Suryadarma, Daniel, Why are Muslims Left Behind in Education? Evidence from Indonesia (July 31, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1440489 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1440489

Daniel Suryadarma (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Arndt-Corden Department of Economics ( email )

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