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Opportunities for women and Islam: variations upon variations

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Religion has long been thought to be an important institution influencing economic development. More recently, it has also been argued that religion influences economic and social opportunities for women, specifically, that Islam limits women's opportunities. A revisionist view has countered with the argument that once one accounts for oil rents and/or fertility, then much of the negative effect disappears. In addition, it has been argued that the impact of Islam varies greatly from region to region. The empirical results from this article indicate that indeed once an account is taken of the impact of fertility, much, but not all, of the negative impact of Islam on relative female performance disappears. In addition, the impact of Islam on relative female performance does vary greatly from region to region. Finally, the inclusion of a variable measuring oil rents does not seem to substantially influence the results.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics,Missouri State University, Springfield,MO 65897, USA 2: Department of Economics,Southern Illinois University, Carbondale,IL 62901-4514, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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