Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 1039–1086 | Cite as

Muslims in France: identifying a discriminatory equilibrium

  • Claire L. Adida
  • David D. Laitin
  • Marie-Anne ValfortEmail author
Original Paper


We analyze the assimilation patterns of Muslim immigrants in Western countries with a unique identification strategy. Survey and experimental data collected in France in 2009 suggest that Muslims and rooted French are locked in a suboptimal equilibrium whereby (i) rooted French exhibit taste-based discrimination against those they are able to identify as Muslims and (ii) Muslims perceive French institutions as systematically discriminatory against them. This equilibrium is sustained because Muslims, perceiving discrimination as institutionalized, are reluctant to assimilate and rooted French, who are able to identify Muslims as such due to their lower assimilation, reveal their distaste for Muslims.


Assimilation Muslim and Christian immigrants Discrimination France 



The research reported in this paper is not the result of any for-pay consulting relationship. It was funded by the National Science Foundation “Muslim Integration into EU Societies: Comparative Perspectives,” Grant SES-0819635, David Laitin, P.I. We thank Ben Adida for building the web-based game for the March 2010 experiments. We also thank two anonymous referees, Yann Algan, John Bowen, Pierre Cahuc, Rafaela Dancygier, Henry Farrell, Harvey Feigenbaum, James Vreeland, and seminar/conference participants at the Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Council of European Studies in Boston, and George Washington University Comparative Workshop for their very helpful comments.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire L. Adida
    • 1
  • David D. Laitin
    • 2
  • Marie-Anne Valfort
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Paris School of EconomicsParis 1 Panthéon Sorbonne UniversityParisFrance

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