On the Road to Heaven: Self-Selection, Religion, and Socio-Economic Status

Saleh, Mohamed (2013) On the Road to Heaven: Self-Selection, Religion, and Socio-Economic Status. IAST working paper, n. 13-04, Toulouse

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Official URL: http://tse-fr.eu/pub/27565


Inter-religion socioeconomic differences are often attributed to religion. Instead, I trace the phenomenon in Egypt to self-selection-on-socioeconomic-status during Egypt’s conversion from Coptic Christianity to Islam. Self-selection was driven by a regressive tax-on-religion that was imposed upon the Arab Conquest of Egypt in 641 and lasted until 1856. Using novel data sources, I document that (a) the long-term trends of the tax, conversions, and the Coptic-Muslim occupational differences are consistent with the selection hypothesis, and (b) districts with a higher tax in 641- 1100 had relatively fewer, but differentially better-off, Copts in 1848-1868. I discuss why the initial selection persisted over time.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: August 2013
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Uncontrolled Keywords: Religion, poll tax, persistence, conversion, Middle East
JEL codes: N35 - Asia including Middle East
O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse 1 Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2016 14:53
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 13:23
OAI ID: oai:tse-fr.eu:27565
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/21616

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