Immigrants, Migration, and Religious Economies

Darren E. Sherkat

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Religion

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780195390049
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Immigrants, Migration, and Religious Economies

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  • Labour and Demographic Economics
  • International Economics



Over the twentieth century, Western democracies began to adopt more inclusive immigration laws, which enabled people from diverse nations to move to Europe and North America. Not surprisingly, many of these immigrants carried with them religious traditions not commonly found in their new homelands. Yet immigration also has a more elemental relationship with religion, because religion often contributes to political conflicts that lead to forced migration, and religious oppression frequently motivates religious minorities to seek more accepting cultural environments. Research in the economics of religion often draws on the impact of immigrants on religious markets and the impact of religious markets on immigrants' religious practices. This article reviews studies on the connections between religion and migration, and discusses how these are related to economic theories of religious and cultural behaviors and institutions. It presents findings from the United States detailing how migration impacts religious markets, how religious factors structure migration, and some economic consequences of religious commitments among immigrants.

Keywords: religion; migration; immigrants; immigration; economics; United States; religious markets; economic theories

Article.  6260 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Labour and Demographic Economics ; International Economics

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