GEOFIN Working Paper No. 12

Bobek, A. (2021) Financialization of households in East-Central Europe: Insights from secondary statistical data. GEOFIN Working Paper No. 12. Dublin: GEOFIN research, Trinity College Dublin.


The financialisation of households is a relatively new phenomenon in East-Central European (ECE) countries. Households in this region became involved with financial institutions and financial products from the late 1990s onwards, and household debt in ECE countries has increased rapidly over the past two decades. However, as this paper will demonstrate, in the majority of cases households in ECE countries remain ‘behind’ with processes of financialisation when compared to the rest of the European Union. This is most visible in the case of mortgage markets as the ECE region can be characterised by a low percentage of mortgage holders. Nevertheless, some indicators of household financialisation in this region have increased significantly over the past two decades. Quite importantly, however, financialisation does not affect all households across the region equally, and both inter- and intra-country differences need to be accounted for.

Keywords: financialisation of households; household debt; East and Central Europe.