Muslims in France: Identifying a Discriminatory Equilibrium
59 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 20, 2012
Evidence about the assimilation patterns of Muslim immigrants in Western countries is inconclusive because current research fails to isolate the effect of religion from that of typical confounds, such as race, ethnicity or nationality. A unique identification strategy allows us to isolate the effect of religion. Survey data collected in France in 2009 indicate that Muslim immigrants assimilate less than do their Christian counterparts, and that this difference does not decrease with the time immigrants spend in France. Experimental games reveal that the persistence of Muslims' lower assimilation is consistent with Muslims and rooted French being locked in a bad equilibrium whereby: (i) rooted French exhibit taste-based discrimination against those they are able to identify as Muslims; (ii) Muslims trust rooted French and French institutions less than do Christians.
Keywords: Assimilation, Muslim and Christian immigrants, Discrimination, France
JEL Classification: C90, D03, J15, J71, Z12
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