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Title: Religious practice and student performance: Evidence from Ramadan fasting

Author(s): Erik Hornung, Guido Schwerdt and Maurizio Strazzeri

Publication Date: October 2021

Keyword(s): Education, PISA, Ramadan, religion, Religious Participation, social capital, social identity and TIMMS

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics

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.

For full details and related downloads, please visit: https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16620

Bibliographic Reference

Hornung, E, Schwerdt, G and Strazzeri, M. 2021. 'Religious practice and student performance: Evidence from Ramadan fasting'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16620