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Does Education Affect Religiosity? Causal Evidence from a Conservative Emerging Economy

Özer, M., Fidrmuc, J., Mentzakis, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-1761-209X & Özkan, Ö. (2024). Does Education Affect Religiosity? Causal Evidence from a Conservative Emerging Economy. CESifo Economic Studies, 70(1), pp. 34-50. doi: 10.1093/cesifo/ifae003


Does education make people more or less religious? The previous literature offers mixed findings on the relationship between education and religiosity. This may be due to endogeneity bias: education and religiosity can be caused by a third variable such as culture or upbringing. We instrument education by exposure to the 1997 education reform in Turkey which increased mandatory schooling from 5 to 8 years. The schooling reform increased the probability that young girls would complete 8 years of schooling and report lower religiosity later in life. The reform apparently did not influence such outcomes for boys. These effects are observed primarily in females growing up in strongly religious or poor areas.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in its final form in CESifo Economic Studies and it's available online at:
Publisher Keywords: education, religiosity, gender, social norms, Turkey
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
L Education > L Education (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Religiosity12J.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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