GEOFIN Working Paper No. 2

Bobek, A. (2019) Financialisation of households: a preliminary literature review. GEOFIN Working Paper No. 2. Dublin: GEOFIN research, Trinity College Dublin.


The issue of household financialisation has gained increased academic and institutional interest over the past few decades, especially in the context of the recent global economic crisis. It has been argued that the growing financialisation of everyday life is part of a broader socio-economic transformation, which involved a growing importance of financial institutions and logics, coupled with the gradual withdrawal of the state from the provision of welfare. At the core of this shift is the financialisation of homeownership and the expansion of mortgage markets. As argued by various authors, this in turn has important implications for households, especially from the point of view of taking care of the debt and the demand for so-called ‘financial literacy’ expected from individuals across the social structure. While the impact of these processes on individuals and households is relatively well documented in ‘Western’ societies, literature on the financialisation of households in East-Central Europe (ECE)1 remains rather limited. Nevertheless, as this preliminary literature review suggests, households in this region are now a subject of ‘subordinated financialisation’, which has a significant impact on everyday lives, especially in relation to the commodification of services previously provided by the state, including housing and pensions.

Keywords: financialisation of households; debt; mortgage market; East-Central Europe; subordinated financialisation.