How ethnicity and religion can influence financial habits


New international research from Macquarie University has found that people with a religious or ethnic background are more likely to save money, quelling the long-held belief that income and financial proficiency are the main determinates of an individual’s ability to save.

Alongside a team of international researchers, Associate Professor Chris Baumann of Macquarie University’s Department of Marketing and Management studied low, middle and high income earners, both with religious and non-religious backgrounds – and also compared the saving/spending habits and customer loyalty of Caucasian consumers with that of Chinese populations in Mainland China, Australia and Canada.

“This research will help people understand how to better position their businesses to tap into these Chinese cultural groups,” said Associate Professor Baumann.

The study revealed people of Chinese heritage tended to save more than their Caucasian counterparts, with even low income earners prioritising savings, leading to the conclusion that inherent cultural factors such as Confucianism emphasise frugality, security and familial concerns, and make a point of difference between participants.

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