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Not a Family Matter: The Effects of Religiosity on Academic Outcomes Based on Evidence from Siblings

Citation

Horwitz, Ilana M.; Domingue, Benjamin W.; & Harris, Kathleen Mullan (2020). Not a Family Matter: The Effects of Religiosity on Academic Outcomes Based on Evidence from Siblings. Social Science Research, 88-9, 16.

Abstract

Religiosity has been positively linked with multiple measures of academic success, but it is unclear whether the "effect" of religiosity on academic outcomes is causal or spurious. One source of heterogeneity that may contribute to a child's level of religiosity and his/her academic success is family background. This paper is the first to use sibling differences to estimate the associations between religiosity on short and long-term academic success. Our analysis yields two main results. First, more religious adolescents earned higher GPAs in high school, even after including family fixed effects. Second, because they earned higher GPAs in high school, more religious adolescents completed more years of education 14 years after their religiosity was measured. Our findings suggest that adolescents' religious commitments influence their schooling in both the short and long term and should be more actively included and theorized as important drivers of educational and economic stratification.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2020.102426

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Science Research

Author(s)

Horwitz, Ilana M.
Domingue, Benjamin W.
Harris, Kathleen Mullan

Year Published

2020

Volume Number

88-9

Pages

16

Reference ID

12766