Analysing the Financial Portfolio of Indian Households Following Different Faiths

Rakshith Ponnathpur of Dvara Research in this blogpost:

Social norms and religious beliefs have an influence on all aspects of our lives, financial behaviour notwithstanding. This can lead to significant differences in the financial well-being of different communities: religious, regional, ethnic, racial, caste, cultural, etc. In addition to these endogenous factors, other exogenous factors such as the social, cultural, economic, and political capital held by the communities also contribute to these differences. While discussing the factors responsible for such differences observed is beyond the scope of our work, there is merit in checking whether and where these differences exist and to what extent, so that it can better inform such conversations.

In this post, we carry out such an exercise by analysing the financial portfolios of Indian households adhering to different religious faiths,[1] using the nationally representative Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). We use their income, expenditure, assets, liabilities and demographic data from the ‘August to December 2020’ wave to build a financial profile of households belonging to different faiths and analyse the differences between them.


Overall, we find that Jain and Sikh households are significantly better off than the national average in terms of their income and educational levels, as well as their financial portfolios. Christian households perform above average in terms of income and education, but around the average in terms of their financial portfolios. Muslim households are characterised by below-average income and education levels, and participation across all asset classes. All characteristics of Hindu households hover around the national average, owing to their large share in the population as well as their over-representation in the dataset.

Much more in the post and these slides.


One Response to “Analysing the Financial Portfolio of Indian Households Following Different Faiths”

  1. Aishwarya Mohan Gahrana Says:

    One most powerful financial groups, Zoroastrians are missing in this study.

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