Original Paper

Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 999-1022

First online:

Investing in children’s education: are Muslim immigrants different?

  • Andreea MitrutAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Uppsala UniversityUCLS, Uppsala UniversityDepartment of Economics, University of GothenburgDepartment of Statistics and Econometrics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies Email author 
  • , François-Charles WolffAffiliated withLEMNA, Université de NantesINED

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Using a unique data set on immigrants living in France in 2003, we investigate whether Muslims invest differently in their children’s education compared to non-Muslims. In particular, we want to assess whether educational inequalities between the children of Muslim and non-Muslim immigrants stem from differences between or within families. After controlling for a broad set of individual and household characteristics, we find no difference in education between children of different religions. However, we do find more within-family inequality in children’s educational achievements among Muslims relative to non-Muslims. The within-family variance is 15 % higher among Muslims relative to Catholics and 45 % higher relative to immigrants with other religions, but the intra-family inequality remains difficult to explain. Overall, our results suggest that Muslim parents tend to redistribute their resources more unequally among their children.


Immigrants Religion Education Intra-household inequality France

JEL Classification

J15 D13 Z12