The Economic Impact of Religion on Society in Australia. Recent Research and Commentary
-- A. Keith Thompson, Editor
Hardback, 340 pages.
A Shepherd Street Press Title
October 2023 release
Does religion (any religion) provide economic benefit to Australian society?
Sociological research has demonstrated the obvious but ignored connection between religious altruism and private philanthropy. But the question whether religiously observant people volunteer and donate more to general charity (not their own churches) than non-believers has never been answered in Australia. This book explains a research project initiated by an interfaith economic think tank at the offices of Deloitte Access Economics (Deloitte) in Sydney in 2012. Building upon the preliminary advice of Professor Ram Cnaan at the University of Pennsylvania, following that 2012 meeting Deloitte prepared a scoping study identifying the kind of research that was missing in Australia. A follow-on academic conference at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne in 2013 recommended to the newly created SEIROS (the Study of the Economic Impact of Religion on Society) interfaith board that they should initiate the “Contributing to Australian Society Survey” and the research project was born.
Deloitte’s initial analysis of the Survey data showed that the 3% of Australian society that convert to religious observance as adults, contributed nearly half a billion dollars more to the 2017 Australian economy than they would have if they had not converted. With a grant from the federal Department of Social Security in 2018, SEIROS then commissioned Agape Economics to identify how much more was contributed by those who were religiously observant throughout their lives. Read this book to find the answer to that question.
Introduction – Philip Hughes and A. Keith Thompson
1. Literature Review on the Impact of Religion on Quality of Life. Professor Ram Cnaan
2. The Economic Impact of Religious Activities – Scoping Study for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deloitte Access Economics
3. Contributing to Australian Society – Survey Questions. Christian Research Association
4. Economic Value of Donating and Volunteering Behaviour Associated with Religiosity. Deloitte Access Economics
5. Impact of Religion on Society. Philip Hughes
6. The Economic Impact of Religious Volunteering and Donation. A. Keith Thompson
7. Measuring the Economic Impact of Religiosity in Australia. Brendan Long
8. Measuring the Economic Impact of Religious Persons Associated with Volunteering and Donation Behaviour. Agape Economics
9. Executive Summary: Measuring the Economic Impact of Religious Persons Associated with Volunteering and Donation Behaviour. SEIROS (Gawaine Powell Davies, Brendan Long and A. Keith Thompson)