Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 539–553 | Cite as

Religion, religiosity and educational attainment of immigrants to the USA

Article

Abstract

This paper quantifies the association between religions, religiosity and educational attainment of new lawful immigrants to the US. This paper considers a broad set of religions that includes most of the major religions of the world. Using data from the New Immigrant Survey (2003), we show that affiliation with religion is not necessarily associated with an increase in educational attainment. Muslim and “Other religion” immigrants have less education compared to the immigrants who are not affiliated with any religion. However, affiliation with the Jewish religion is associated with higher educational attainment for males. With regard to religiosity, our results show that high religiosity is associated with lower educational attainment, especially for females. We also outline alternative frameworks that provide insight about the mechanisms that link religion and religiosity with educational attainment.

Keywords

Immigration Religion Religiosity Education 

JEL Classification

I2 J61 Z12 

References

  1. Becker, G. S. (1967). Human capital and the personal distribution of income, Woytinsky Lecture No. 1. Ann Arbor, MI, University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  2. Becker, G. S., & Chiswick, B. R. (1966). Education and the distribution of earnings. American Economic Review, 56, 358–369.Google Scholar
  3. Bohn, S. E. (2009). The quantity and quality of new immigrants to the US. Review of Economics of the household (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  4. Borjas, G. (1985). Assimilation, changes in cohort quality, and the earnings of immigrants. Journal of Labor Economics, 3(4), 463–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chiswick, B. (1988). Differences in education and earnings across racial and ethnic groups: Tastes, discrimination, and investments in child quality. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 103(3), 571–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chiswick, B., & Lofstrom, M. (2009). The labor market adjustment of immigrants. Review of Economics of the household (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  7. Darnell, A., & Sherkat, D. E. (1997). The impact of Protestant fundamentalism on educational attainment. American Sociological Review, 62, 306–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freeman, R. B. (1986). Who escapes? The relation of churchgoing and other background factors to the socioeconomic performance of black male youths from inner-city tracts. In R. B. Freeman & H. J. Holzer (Eds.), The black youth employment crisis (pp. 353–376). Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Glass, J. (1999). Growing up fundamentalist: Effects on women’s early life course transitions and adult attainment. Presented at the annual meetings of the Population Association of America, New York City.Google Scholar
  10. Gruber, J. (2005). Religious market structure, religious participation, and outcomes: Is religion good for you? Advances in Economic Analysis and Policy, 5(1), Article 5. http://www.bepress.com/bejeap/advances/vol5/iss1/art5.
  11. Keysar, A. A., & Kosmin, B. A. (1995). The impact of religious identification on differences in educational attainment among American women in 1990. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 34(1), 49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lehrer, E. L. (1999). Religion as a determinant of educational attainment: An economic perspective. Social Science Research, 28, 358–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lehrer, E. L. (2004). Religiosity as a determinant of educational attainment: The case of conservative Protestant women in the United States. The Review of Economics of the Household, 2(2), 203–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lehrer, E. L. (2006). Religion and high-school graduation: a comparative analysis of patterns for white and black young women. The Review of Economics of the Household, 4(4), 277–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Muller, C., & Ellison, C. G. (2001). Religious involvement, social capital, adolescents’ academic progress: Evidence from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988. Sociological Focus, 34(2), 155–183.Google Scholar
  16. Regnerus, M. D. (2000). Shaping schooling success: Religious socialization and educational outcomes in metropolitan public schools. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 39, 363–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sherkat, D. E., & Darnell, A. (1999). The effects of parents’ fundamentalism on children’s educational attainment: Examining differences by gender and children’s fundamentalism. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 38(1), 23–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Nevada RenoRenoUSA

Personalised recommendations