Religious Practice and Student Performance: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting

54 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 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: October 2021

Abstract

We investigate how the intensity of Ramadan affects educational outcomes by exploiting spatio-temporal 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, PISA, Ramadan, religion, Religious Participation, social capital, social identity, TIMMS

JEL Classification: I21, J24, O15, Z12

Suggested Citation

Hornung, Erik and Schwerdt, Guido and Strazzeri, Maurizio, Religious Practice and Student Performance: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting (October 2021). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP16620, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3960201

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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