GEOFIN Working Paper No. 10
Bobek, A. (2020) Financialisation of households in East-Central Europe: The view from the non-academic reports. GEOFIN Working Paper No. 10. Dublin: GEOFIN research, Trinity College Dublin.
This Working Paper is an overview of grey literature on the financialisation of households in Europe. Even though the term ‘financialisation’ is not frequently used in non-academic reports, examining households’ engagement with financial institutions and financial products has been gaining increased interest over the past few decades. This is especially the case in the context of the post-2008 economic downturn. While the literature is mainly focused on ‘Western’ Europe, the analysis of the situation in East-Central Europe (ECE) has also been emerging. The main themes include households’ ‘investments’, households’ involvement with debt and credit, housing and mortgages, over-indebtedness, and foreign currency lending. In addition, trust in financial institutions, as well as financial literacy and education, also constitute a strong feature in these reports. Finally, even though most of the authors argue that increase in household debt in this region is inevitable and constitutes part of the ‘catching-up’ process, there are also those who point out that over-indebtedness poses potential threats to households’ well-being, and to the overall financial stability of the region. All these themes will be explored in detail in this paper.
Keywords: financialisation of households; non-academic reports; East-Central Europe; debt and credit; FX lending.