Bryan Caplan  

France Bet With Franck

PRINT
Persuading Tyler Cowen... Easterly and the Caplan-Cowen ...

Raphael Franck, a French Israeli professor, has been visting at the Public Choice Center for the last two years. He leaves for good on Saturday. And in the true GMU spirit, we've worked out a bet as a going-away present.

The terms, which we have both accepted:

If the total number of deaths in France from riots and terrorism is less than 500 between May 28, 2008 and May 28, 2018, Franck owes me $50. If the total number is 500 or more, I owe him $50.
We also want to bet about the percentage of the French population that will be Muslim, but we don't know of any canonical source for French religious data. Anyone?

Comments and Sharing





COMMENTS (9 to date)
Blackadder writes:

How many deaths from riots and terrorism were there in France between May 28, 1998 and May 28, 2008?

James A. Donald writes:

If there is canonical source of information on the percentage of Muslims, there soon will not be one any more. The definition of Muslim will be adjusted as much as required to give politically palatable results.

The fall of Europe will not be a well defined process. We won't see Muslim armies parading in the streets and a flag raising ceremony. It is a process that is will only be possible to measure backwards, thus difficult to bet on for lack of well defined metrics.

The basic problem is that weakness and fear attracts predators. Europe is looking for something to surrender to, and Islam thinks "why not me?"

TGGP writes:

I wouldn't bet a Frenchman on the subject of France.

On the "Eurabia" question, see God's Continent.

Fazal Majid writes:

Keep in mind France has overtaken Russia to have the third largest Jewish population in the world after Israel and the US.

Israel, engaged as it is in demographic competition with the Palestinians, has a vested interest in creating a sense of insecurity among French Jews to incite them to immigrate to Israel, the way Russian immigration in the eighties and nineties helped maintain a Jewish majority west of the Jordan river.

michael gordon writes:

1) Fazal Majid writes: "Israel, engaged as it is in demographic competition with the Palestinians, has a vested interest in creating a sense of insecurity among French Jews to incite them to immigrate to Israel, the way Russian immigration in the eighties and nineties helped maintain a Jewish majority west of the Jordan river."

Fazil:
The French Jewish population is still less than 1.0% of the total French population, and is an aging one to boot. On top of that, my wife and I watch daily the Deuxieme Chaine's evening news program (brought by Dish satellite service), and though since Sarkozy's election last year there have been four or five segments devoted to Jewish emigration out of France and to Israel, all of those French-Jews interviewed in Israel have said that the growing anti-Semitism increasingly rife in much of France, and especially the violent discrimination they have faced from certain Muslim residents, was what motivated their choice to leave France.

Note that in Holland, where fears of Islamic extremism are high, emigration of the native Dutch --- population roughly 15 million --- soared from 31,000 in 1999 to 121,000 in2006 (estimated by the Telegraaf

..............

2) The CIA World Factbook rightly estimates the French Muslim population as somewhere between 5.0-and 10% of the total 65 million in France. The range reflects the problems of pinning down the exact number. Many French Muslims don't attend mosques or visit Muslim community centers, and French census surveys don't ask questions about religion or ethnicity. Then there are lots of illegals (sans papiers)

Almost all good studies, though, estimate as the Muslim population somewhere between 7-10%

..............


3) Similar problems exist when estimating the entire Muslim population of West and East Europe.

Keep in mind when reading the quoted sections that the EU European population birth-rate is 1.5 per woman . . . way below the reproduction rate of 1.21. The European Muslim birth-rate is estimated to be about 3.5. (In developing countries, owing to higher mortality rates, the reproduction level averages 2.33)

Hence, even without counting immigration from Muslim countries over the next 20 years or so, there will be a splurging growth of the Muslim minorities in Europe (outside of Russia). More to the point, it will be a far younger Muslim population on an average than the increasingly older native European populations . . . old, worried about pensions, or living on them. Anyway, fearful of risk-taking of any notable sort.

......

Generally, it's worth noting, demographic projections tend to be sounder on the whole than economic projections of growth in GDP and per capita income . . . at any rate, over several decades. That said, as source 5 below notes, they can be disrupted by all sorts of sudden shocks, such as the changing role of women in a society.

.............

4, The recent Pew attitude survey of European attitudes toward Muslims in 21 countries found that an "overwhelming majority" of Europeans wanted to stop all immigration from Muslim countries.

.................

5) A recent British study, which is wide-ranging and published as a book, says the following about the projected growth of Muslim populations in Europe (outside Russia): [Source: http://www.divinity.cam.ac.uk/cip/documents/IslamandMuslimInEuropeToday.pdf

"9.Besides natural growth, Muslim numbers will also increase by immigration, as younger workers
are brought in to ensure the survival of aging European nations. Drawing together various
estimates, the U.S. National Intelligence Council suggests that a European Union Muslim
population that stood at 5 million in 1985 has now reached 15 million. The number would
probably rise to about 28 million by 2025, but the council also offered alternative low- and highend projections, respectively, of 24 million and 38 million.

As total European population will fall in coming decades, Muslims will represent an ever-larger proportion of the smaller whole.

Undoubtedly, some leading European nations—France, Germany, and the Netherlands—will
have significant Muslim minorities of 10 percent to 15 percent by 2025, and these communities
might account for 20 percent or 25 percent of the respective populations by 2050. That is a
historic and cultural fact of vast importance. But if we consider Europe as a whole—everything
west of the former Soviet Union and including the Balkans—the picture is less overwhelming.

By 2025, the continent would have perhaps 40 million Muslims out of a total population of 500
million, about 8 percent. That figure might well rise higher in subsequent decades, to a possible
15 percent or so by 2050. The Council on Foreign Relations veers a little on the high side when it
suggests that by 2050 one-fifth of Europeans will be Muslim by cultural background, if not in
religious practice.

.

10.But what will be the character of that minority? We can certainly imagine a worst-case
scenario.

While long-term demographic trends favor stability, European societies will have to live for some years with the large cohort of young people born before the recent decline in fertility,the youth bulge that will not shrink until after 2020. The intervening years could well provide a bumpy ride. If the poor and deprived come to link their condition to their religious identity—if the young, poor, and Muslim overtly confront the old, well-off, and Christian—then Europe would face a turbulent future.

.

11.Having said this, modern European society does not seem hospitable to institutional or
dogmatic religion of any kind, and by 2050, European Muslims will have been exposed to this
secularizing ambience for several generations. At the least, we can expect that ethnic birth rates
will have fallen to something like mainstream norms. Nobody can deny that European nations in
coming decades will have to take account of aspects of Muslim culture, or rather of the north
African and Asian cultures brought by Muslim immigrants; but that is quite different from
envisioning wholesale Islamization.

.

12.All these projections depend critically on the social and cultural position of women within
Muslim communities, and women are particularly subject to pressures for cultural assimilation.

A growth of individualism and feminism would radically change demographic projections, since
Muslim women dedicated to professional and personal fulfillment are much less likely to want
large families, helping to bring ethnic birth rates into line with old-stock European figures.
Education and literacy—especially for girls and women—also contribute mightily to lowering
birth rates. These trends assuredly will promote much greater assimilation into European
societies, with all that implies for cultural and religious orthodoxies. [my italics
..................

Michael Gordon, AKA, the buggy professor: http://www.thebuggyprofessor.org

LemmusLemmus writes:

Michael,

I live in Germany. I would like to see a link for your point no. 4, as I find this highly implausible (and am highly aware of question wording effects).

As for your point no. 5, a question one should take into account is whether the offspring of Muslims will be particularly religious. Anecdotally, this does not seem to be so.

As for Bryan's question, I would think there is such a thing as a French statistics office.

michael gordon writes:

Lemmus writes:

"I live in Germany. I would like to see a link for your point no. 4, as I find this highly implausible (and am highly aware of question wording effects). As for your point no. 5, a question one should take into account is whether the offspring of Muslims will be particularly religious. Anecdotally, this does not seem to be so.

As for Bryan's question, I would think there is such a thing as a French statistics office"

Lemmus:

Thanks for the queries.

Start with your last: French census figures do not ask questions about religion of any sort . . . a touchy subject, which goes back to the church-state struggles of the 19th century and ended only with the dis-establishment of the Catholic Church in (I believe) 1903, with lots of bitterness in Catholic circles until after WWII.

Same is true of incarcerated criminals in France (true also virtually of the entire EU-15: maybe all of it, come to that).

2) I originally found the quote "overwhelming majority" in 21 EU countries when I ran a google search in French: "majorite ecrasante" was the French term. It was, I believe, for the 2006 (or 2007) Pew Research Center's annual Global Atttitudes Project. Alas, I delete my browser history every time I log off both IE and Firefox, and a brief try again couldn't locate the French source.

3)Here, however, are the summaries I found at the Pew Research Center in its Global Attitudes Project last fall (2007):


Among European publics, Italians express the most
concern about the levels of immigration to their country.
Fully 87% of Italians agree that their country should restrict
and control the entry of people more than it does today.
(Italians also are more likely than any other public
surveyed to say immigration is a very big problem in their
country; for more details see “A Rising Tide Lifts Mood in
the Developing World,” released July 24.)
This sentiment is shared by more than seven-in-ten
in Spain (77%), Britain (75%), the Czech Republic (75%)
and Russia (72%), and more than six-in-ten in France
(68%), Germany (66%), Slovakia (64%) and Ukraine
(63%). Narrow majorities in Sweden, Bulgaria and Poland
(53% each) also agree that there should be more restrictions
on immigration to their country Pew Global Attitudes Research Oct 2007

p 29 shows a chart in which opinion in several EU countries, plus two or three not in the EU, overwhelmingly want restrictions on immigration --- with Poland the least restrictive (53% favor restrictions, 40% oppose. Sweden is close to that too. Germany and France? 66% in Germany and 68% in France want restrictions. In Italy the figure is 87%. Page 31's chart shows the close link between fears about cultural change and immigration restrictions.

A chart on p. 32 shows divisions in some EU countries over Muslim immigration.

The US population, please note, is also found to be strongly in favor of more restricted and controlled immigration: aimed, obviously, at Hispanic immigrants. Essentially, in the US today, only left-wing liberals and radicals at one end of the spectrum and free-market libertarians at the other favor unrestricted immigration, legal and illegal (undocumented is the euphemism), along with another amnesty. Obviously, a fair number of businesses --- usually sweat-shops, hotels, restaurants, certain agricultural industries, possibly construction in certain states --- favor such a policy in this country; but scarcely any politicians any longer have illusions about the strong feelings the US public has about halting all illegal immigration (if possible) and controlling legal immigration in different ways . . . such as emulating, within limits, Australia's and Canada's (admittedly imperfect) economic-oriented immigration policies.

............

4) You are quite right to note that there is evidence of growing secularization in the French Islamic population (and possibly elsewhere in the EU). The British book I cited --- which used a fair amount of survey material (gathered before the book was published in 2005) --- notes that in the PDF chapter-summary quoted from earlier.

There is also, however, growing Islamist tendencies among the younger 2nd and even 3rd generation Muslim minorities. I suspect the former trend is stronger --- but I know of no European study that traces both trends in detail, based on survey evidence and follow-up observations. That, alas, says a lot (I fear) about European sociologists and probably, I imagine, the touchiness of the subject in European life. There are anecdotal commentaries, but that's about it . . . though I add I would be delighted to be corrected and have a link to published studies that do have hard survey evidence of a good sort, with follow-up personal interviews carried out over a decent period of time.

(Attitudinal surveys can be good or bad, it's only fair to add, and there are always some doubts about whether even good ones tap deep beliefs and values . . . which is why follow-up interviews, randomly chosen among a good sample to begin with, are desirable. Admittedly, it's expensive, requires usually a team of questioners who are carefully trained, and several time-consuming follow-ups over a few or several years. With, at the end, longitudinal opinion (attitudinal) surveys ongoing during that lengthy period.

5) One other matter. Projected demographic trends are generally sounder over a long period of time than economic ones --- say two to five decades; and they can also be disrupted by sudden shifts in sexual relations, changes in the status of women, opportunities for them in the job market, and the like.

That said, the best one for the likely Muslim population in the EU --- minus Turkey's joining (and depending on future membership for others) --- was offered in a US National Intelligence study published in December 2004. http://www.foia.cia.gov/2020/2020.pdf p87

NIC projected estimates of future Islamic population of Europe, based on trend lines from 1985: high projection (about 40 million in number); medium (slightly less than 30 million); low (25 million or so) "Mapping the Global Future" December 2004,

Hope these comments answer your queries, Lemmus. And thank you for the polite way you posted them.

Michael Gordon, aka, the buggy professor: http://www.thebuggyprofessor.org

Barkley Rosser writes:

As a matter of policy in France people are not asked for religious affiliation. So, there is no "canonical," or at least official, source.

Stefano writes:

How many deaths from riots and terrorism were there in France between May 28, 1998 and May 28, 2008?

In 2000 Breton separatists bombed a McDonald, killing one employee. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents%2C_2000

During the 2005 riots, when almost 9000 cars were burned, one person was killed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_civil_unrest_in_France

In 2007, a parcel bomb (perhaps related to terrorism) caused 1 death. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents%2C_2007

I don't expect the total number to be over 10.

Just for comparison, in the same period more than 100 persons were killed in school shootings in the USA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting

Comments for this entry have been closed
Return to top