Backlash: Effects of 9/11 on Immigrants, Muslims and Arabs Living in the U.S.

Other External Scholars:
Neeraj Kaushal, Columbia University
Robert Kaestner, University of Illinois, Chicago
Project Date:
Oct 2003
Award Amount:
Project Programs:
September 11 Initiative

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Arabs and Muslims living in the United States have had to face increased scrutiny from public officials and escalated violence in the form of hate crimes. Has this "backlash" against Arabs and Muslims also been felt in the economic sphere?


Robert Kaestner of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Neeraj Kaushal of Columbia University, and Cordelia Reimers of Hunter College will search for labor market discrimination against this population by looking at wage and employment data from the 1999-2002 Current Population Survey (CPS) and comparing American immigrants (especially those who come from predominantly Islamic countries) with first- and second-generation immigrants from non-Islamic countries as well as third-generation Americans. Taking into account macroeconomic factors, the researchers will determine whether Arab and Muslim immigrants experienced greater declines in income and employment after September 11, 2001 than other groups. They also will examine the regions in the country where hate crimes against immigrants were most prevalent after the terrorist attacks to assess if labor market discrimination is particularly acute in these locales and if immigrants exited such areas in particularly high numbers.


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