Parental religiosity and human capital development: A field study in Pakistan

Samreen Malik, Benedikt Mihm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In developing countries, a child's human capital development often depends on a trade-off between attending school and engaging in work activities. While the emphasis placed by religion on education means that parents may assign more importance to schooling, parents engaging in time-consuming religious activities may require their children to work more to compensate. Given these countervailing forces, we conduct a field study in Pakistan to assess the impact of parental religiosity on children's educational attainment and work activities. We find that parental religiosity has a robust positive impact on children's school outcomes and reduces their work activity, and parents with less time-consuming religious practices drive these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-560
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Human capital
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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