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

51 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2013

See all articles by Christine Binzel

Christine Binzel

Heidelberg University - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Jean-Paul Carvalho

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics

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.

Keywords: Islamic revival, education, social mobility, inequality, social movements, Egypt

JEL Classification: D10, D63, I24, J24, J62, O10, Z12, Z13

Suggested Citation

Binzel, Christine and Carvalho, Jean-Paul, Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: A Theory of the Islamic Revival in Egypt. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7259. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2234281

Christine Binzel (Contact Author)

Heidelberg University - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Bergheimer Stra├če 58
Heidelberg, 69115
Germany

Jean-Paul Carvalho

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
147
Abstract Views
1,011
rank
213,227
PlumX Metrics