Islam and the State: Religious Education in the Age of Mass Schooling

71 Pages Posted: 8 May 2020 Last revised: 14 May 2021

See all articles by Samuel Bazzi

Samuel Bazzi

Boston University - Department of Economics

Masyhur Hilmy

Boston University

Benjamin Marx

Sciences Po - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

We study the interplay between public and religious schools and its consequences for nation building. In the 1970s, a landmark mass schooling effort in Indonesia aimed to homogenize education and to uproot a longstanding Islamic school system. Using novel data on Islamic school construction and curriculum, we identify short-run effects on exposed cohorts as well as dynamic, long-run effects on education markets. While primary enrollment shifted towards public schools, religious education increased overall as Islamic secondary schools absorbed the greater demand for continued education. The Islamic sector not only entered new markets to compete with the state but also increased religious curriculum inside new schools. Cohorts exposed to the landmark policy are not more attached to secular ideology, while they report greater religiosity and transmit these religious values to the next generation. Overall, the results point to a backlash from religious actors that weakened the nation-building impacts of mass schooling.

JEL Classification: H52, I25, N45, P16, Z12

Suggested Citation

Bazzi, Samuel and Hilmy, Masyhur and Marx, Benjamin, Islam and the State: Religious Education in the Age of Mass Schooling (May 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14689, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3594323

Samuel Bazzi (Contact Author)

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Masyhur Hilmy

Boston University

Benjamin Marx

Sciences Po - Department of Economics ( email )

28, rue des Saints peres
Paris, 75007
France

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