David Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, with an affiliation at Sciences-Po Paris. He received his PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1974.

His research field is comparative politics, where he has conducted field research on the relationship of culture to political behavior – more specifically, how cultural similarity and/or difference mobilizes people into political action - in Somalia, Nigeria, Catalonia, and Estonia. In the past decade, he has studied the micro-foundations of insurgency and terrorism. He is now working on a project focusing on Muslim migration into Europe and processes leading to (or preventing) their social and economic integration.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in February 2009.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 6953
published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2014, 27 (4), 1039-1086

We analyze the assimilation patterns of Muslim immigrants in Western countries with a unique identification strategy. Survey and experimental data collected in France in 2009 reveal that Muslims and rooted French are locked in a sub-optimal equilibrium whereby (i) rooted French exhibit taste-based discrimination against those they are able to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6421
published in: Economics and Politics, 2015, 26 (1), 79-95

Muslims do less well on the French labor market than their non Muslim counterparts. One explanation for this relative failure can be characterized by the following syllogism: (1) the empowerment of women is a sine qua non for economic progress; (2) in-group norms among Muslims do not empower women; and...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6122
published in: Annals of Economics and Statistics, 2016, 121-122, 121-160

Anti-Muslim prejudice is widespread in Western countries. Yet, Muslims are expected to constitute a growing share of the total population in Western countries over the next decades. This paper predicts that this demographic trend will increase anti-Muslim prejudice. Relying on experimental games and a formal model, we show that the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6053
Yann Algan, Camille Hémet, David D. Laitin

This paper demonstrates the effects of ethnic and religious diversity on the quality of public spaces. Its identification strategy relies on the exogeneity of public housing allocations in France, and thereby eliminates the bias from endogenous sorting. The paper uses micro evidence of social interactions within housing blocks from the...