Charity Begins at Home (and at School): Effects of Religion-Based Discrimination in Education

49 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2018

See all articles by Victor Lavy

Victor Lavy

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Edith Sand

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics

Moses Shayo

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

Religions often preach preferential treatment of fellow believers. This paper examines whether one’s religious status (secular or religious) leads one to discriminate against people with a different religious status; how this affects human capital formation; and whether this discrimination is affected by exposure to others with a different religious orientation. We develop a method of detecting individual religious status and apply it to study grading decisions on national matriculation exams in Israel’s Jewish state education. Comparing grades given by religious versus secular examiners to religious versus secular students, we find evidence of in-group bias. This bias is almost entirely driven by male examiners. Exploiting bunching in the grade distribution, we are able to examine who drives this observed bias: the secular or the religious. In addition, we find that in some cases exposure at home and at work to others with different religious beliefs may attenuate the bias. These biases in grading have long-run implications since they affect students’ eligibility for university admission and as a result their occupation and earnings in adulthood.

Suggested Citation

Lavy, Victor and Sand, Edith and Shayo, Moses, Charity Begins at Home (and at School): Effects of Religion-Based Discrimination in Education (August 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24922. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3236727

Victor Lavy (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3245 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Edith Sand

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

Moses Shayo

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL Jerusalem 91905
Israel

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