Okay. Show me the money.
Catholicism, with all its attendant ceremony, piety and guilt, may well trump a good Protestant work ethic when it comes to earnings potential, according to the authors of a new study.
Catholic men between 25 and 54 years were found to benefit from a wage premium of 6.7 per cent compared with men who reported a Protestant affiliation, an analysis of the Household, Income Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey found.
The Southern Cross University senior economics lecturer Michael Kortt, who conducted the study in conjunction with the University of New England professor Brian Dollery, said no statistically significant spike was observed between Protestants and any other group, including those with no religious affiliation.
Dr Kortt said there were two possible explanations for the research findings, published in the journal Applied Economics Letters, including a greater productivity pay-off for being Catholic. ”That is, it suggests that being raised a Catholic male it might actually instil in a person a series of characteristics such as discipline, which may be rewarded by the labour market,” he said.
Employers might also screen for unobservable qualities they associate with the religion through other characteristics, such as a Catholic-sounding surname, he said. ”They may associate Catholic men with having certain desirable traits such as trustworthiness or a strong work ethic and so on,” he said.