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Religiosity, gender, and wage: the differentiated impact of private prayer in Canada

Maryam Dilmaghani (Department of Economics, Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 12 October 2015



Does religiosity impact wages differently for males and females? Does the impact on wage of different dimensions of religiosity, namely the importance of religion, the frequency of religious practice with others and individually, differ for men and women? The paper aims to discuss these issues.


Using the Canadian Ethnic Diversity Survey, made public in 2004, this paper investigates whether there are evidences for a gender difference in the impact of religiosity on wage. A Mincerean wage regression is estimated using both multiple linear regression and Heckit.


Religious females are found to receive a premium over their labour earnings, through the frequency of private-prayer while the same dimension of religiosity penalizes males’ mean wage. The by-gender impact slightly widens for the subsample of employees, while it diminishes for the self-employed.

Research limitations/implications

Making use of the most comprehensive data set available and standard methodology, the paper creates stylized facts that are of interest to the scholars of a multiplicity of disciplines.

Practical implications

It advances the body of knowledge about the impact of religiosity on productivity and whether it has a by-gender component.

Social implications

The research also informs policy-makers in their decision about the appropriate level of accommodation of religiosity in the workplace.


The present work is the first research paper examining the by-gender impact of different dimensions of religiosity on productivity thereby wage.



JEL Classification —Z12

The author wishes to thank Professor Jennifer Hunt of Rutgers University and Chief Economist to the US Secretary of Labor as well as Dr Jacques Ewoudou of Public Service Commission of Canada, the participants in the Atlantic Canada Economic Association meeting of 2013 and two anonymous referees for their extremely helpful comments.


Dilmaghani, M. (2015), "Religiosity, gender, and wage: the differentiated impact of private prayer in Canada", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 42 No. 10, pp. 888-905.



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