Religious Practice and Student Performance: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting

53 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2021

See all articles by Erik Hornung

Erik Hornung

University of Cologne - Center for Macroeconomic Research (CMR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Guido Schwerdt

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics

Maurizio Strazzeri

Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

We investigate how the intensity of Ramadan affects educational outcomes by exploiting spatiotemporal variation in annual fasting hours. Longer fasting hours are related to increases in student performance in a panel of TIMMS test scores (1995–2019) across Muslim countries but not other countries. Results are confirmed in a panel of PISA test scores (2003–2018) allowing within country-wave comparisons of Muslim to non-Muslim students across Europe. We provide evidence consistent with the hypothesis that a demanding Ramadan during adolescence affects educational performance by facilitating formation of social capital and social identity via increased religious participation and shared experiences among students.

Keywords: education, religion, religious participation, Ramadan, social identity, social capital, PISA, TIMMS

JEL Classification: I210, Z120, J240, O150

Suggested Citation

Hornung, Erik and Schwerdt, Guido and Strazzeri, Maurizio, Religious Practice and Student Performance: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 9349, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3943032 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3943032

Erik Hornung (Contact Author)

University of Cologne - Center for Macroeconomic Research (CMR) ( email )

Cologne
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Munich
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Guido Schwerdt

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 10
78457 Konstanz
Germany

Maurizio Strazzeri

Department of Economics ( email )

Gesellschaftsstrasse 49
Bern, BERN 3001
Switzerland

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