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Save or borrow – what determines Russian households’ financial strategies?

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  • Semenova, Maria

    ()
    (BOFIT)

Abstract

This paper examines what influences Russian households’ decisions to save and borrow. We use the 2008 data from the 17th round of the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE). Our results show that the determinants of saving and borrowing are not only those suggested by economic theory but also include psychological and sociological considerations: smarter respondents, who are satisfied with their lives and inclined to help other people, are more likely to save. Those who enjoy stable or improving financial conditions and/or are satisfied with them are more likely to save and less likely to borrow. Financial literacy, a factor cited by institutional theory as positive for both saving and borrowing from banks, lost its significance at the onset of the financial crisis. Household income, suggested by economic theory as a basis for choosing a financial strategy, was found to have much less influence on savings and to have a positive influence on borrowing, confirming the rationing theory rather than inter-temporal choice theory. Surprisingly, the fear of job loss does not make people save more, contrary to the precautionary motive.

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File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/tutkimus/tutkimusjulkaisut/dp/Documents/dp2811.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 28/2011.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 04 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2011_028

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Postal: Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
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Keywords: household; Russia; saving; bank loans;

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References

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  1. Silvia Magri, 2007. "Italian households’ debt: the participation to the debt market and the size of the loan," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 401-426, November.
  2. Barnea, Amir & Cronqvist, Henrik & Siegel, Stephan, 2010. "Nature or Nurture: What Determines Investor Behavior?," SIFR Research Report Series 72, Institute for Financial Research.
  3. Miles, David, 1997. "A Household Level Study of the Determinants of Incomes and Consumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 1-25, January.
  4. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Webb, Steven B. & Corsetti, Giancarlo, 1991. "Household saving in developing countries : first cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 575, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria Semenova & Victoria Rodina, 2013. "Informal loans in Russia: credit rationing or borrower’s choice?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 14/FE/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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