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Religiosity, human capital return and earnings in Canada

Religiosity, human capital return and earnings in Canada Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the link between religiosity and labour market outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – Using the Ethnic Diversity Survey, the author: examines how religious belief and practice relate to earnings in Canada; considers the impact of the degree of religiosity using a composite index constructed by means of survey questions; and uses this index as an explanatory variable in the estimation of standard human capital‐earnings function. Findings – A negative correlation between religiosity and earnings is found controlling for demographic, behavioural and human capital variables. Examining the cross‐religion differential in earnings and human capital return, Muslims' earnings are found to be significantly lower compared to the average. Muslims' wage gap is explained by their immigrant status. Originality/value – This paper is the first to use a composite, score‐based index standing for the degree of religiosity instead of a single survey question or unique observable indicator. Second, this paper is the first to consider the interaction of the degree of religiosity and religious denomination in a human capital‐earnings equation. Third, the author considers both men and women, which previous Canadian papers did not do. Fourth, this study is the first on a high income country to consider Muslims as a distinct religious group. Fifth, the author considers the interaction of the effects of religion and of immigration. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Social Economics Emerald Publishing

Religiosity, human capital return and earnings in Canada

International Journal of Social Economics , Volume 39 (1/2): 26 – Dec 16, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0306-8293
DOI
10.1108/03068291211188875
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the link between religiosity and labour market outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – Using the Ethnic Diversity Survey, the author: examines how religious belief and practice relate to earnings in Canada; considers the impact of the degree of religiosity using a composite index constructed by means of survey questions; and uses this index as an explanatory variable in the estimation of standard human capital‐earnings function. Findings – A negative correlation between religiosity and earnings is found controlling for demographic, behavioural and human capital variables. Examining the cross‐religion differential in earnings and human capital return, Muslims' earnings are found to be significantly lower compared to the average. Muslims' wage gap is explained by their immigrant status. Originality/value – This paper is the first to use a composite, score‐based index standing for the degree of religiosity instead of a single survey question or unique observable indicator. Second, this paper is the first to consider the interaction of the degree of religiosity and religious denomination in a human capital‐earnings equation. Third, the author considers both men and women, which previous Canadian papers did not do. Fourth, this study is the first on a high income country to consider Muslims as a distinct religious group. Fifth, the author considers the interaction of the effects of religion and of immigration.

Journal

International Journal of Social EconomicsEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 16, 2011

Keywords: Canada; Islam; Earnings; Muslims; Religiosity; Religion; Human capital return

References