Study: Post 9/11 Not Kind to Arab, Muslim Men

August 25, 2006 ( - A study has documented the adverse effects on Arab and Muslim men living in the United States in the years following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including a 10% wage and earnings decline.

A study to be published in the Spring 2007 issue of the Journal of Human Resources found the post 9/11 impact was greater in areas of the US that already suffered high rates of hate crimes focusing on religious, ethnic or country of origin bias, according to a press release from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“I was surprised,” Robert Kaestner, study co-author and University of Illinois at Chicago professor of economics, said of the findings, in the release. “We see an immediate and significant connection between personal prejudice and economic harm.”

Not only that, the release said, but evidence also suggests the terrorists’ attacks made Arab and Muslim men more reluctant to look for better jobs in new areas because of the uncertainty of their reception. The study showed that changes in industry of employment among Arab and Muslim American men accounted for some of the lower wages post-September 11, Kaestner said. Hours worked were unaffected.

Researchers said that there is some evidence that the adverse wage and earnings effects are dissipating. Figures from the most recent period available (2005) indicated a rebound in wages and earnings for Arab and Muslim men.

The study measured changes in wages of first- and second-generation immigrants from countries with predominantly Arab or Muslim populations between September 1997 and September 2005 and compared them to changes in wages of first- and second-generation immigrants with similar skills from other countries.

The study is based on data for 4,300 Arab and Muslim men, ages 21-54, from 20 states where 85% of all Arab and Muslim Americans live. Data from the 2001 FBI annual hate crime report, the Current Population Survey for 1997-2005, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census 2003 were used.