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

  • Semenova, Maria

    ()

    (BOFIT)

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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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: + 358 10 831 2268
Fax: + 358 10 831 2294
Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/Email:


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  1. OR Attanasio & J Banks, 2001. "The assessment: household saving - issues in theory and policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 1-19, Spring.
  2. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Webb, Steven B & Corsetti, Giancarlo, 1992. "Household Saving in Developing Countries: First Cross-Country Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 529-47, September.
  3. Barnea, Amir & Cronqvist, Henrik & Siegel, Stephan, 2010. "Nature or Nurture: What Determines Investor Behavior?," SIFR Research Report Series 72, Institute for Financial Research.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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