Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Peter McHenry

Committee Members

Rui Pereira

Daniela Hurtado-Lange


The 9/11 attacks were a series of deadly terrorist attacks carried out by the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001. The Muslim identity of the attackers prompts concern that the general public will exhibit bias against Muslims and people perceived as associated with Islam more generally. This paper examines whether these attacks impacted the labor market outcomes of people who were identified as Muslims. I mainly use data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) of the Current Population Survey (CPS) and treat the 9/11 attacks as a natural experiment that may change the general public’s attitudes toward Muslims in the United States. By using the difference-in-difference approach, I find that in most cases, the attacks did not significantly affect the Muslims’ hourly wage, weekly earnings, and working hours compared with the outcomes of the comparison group. By analyzing the gender gap, female Muslims were more negatively impacted in weekly earnings and hourly wages than their male counterparts after the attacks, which may result from visual identifiers such as head coverings. In general, though the evidence of discrimination toward Muslims after the attacks in the labor market was weak, policymakers should pay attention to the attacks’ impact on the gender differences of Muslims.

On-Campus Access Only