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Article

Bank Depositor Behavior in Russia in the Aftermath of Financial Crisis

Eurasian Geography and Economics. 2012. Vol. 53. No. 2. P. 267-284.
Pyle W., Schoors K., Semenova M., Yudaeva K.

An international team of economists examines the factors influencing the behavior of Russian depositors in the immediate aftermath of that country’s 1998 financial crisis, drawing upon two largely unutilized data sources—data from the Russian state savings bank Sberbank and a November 1998 household survey. After first reviewing the evolution of the household deposit market during the 1990s, they explore regional variations in net withdrawals from Sberbank branches during the period August–October 1998 as well as identify characteristics of individual/household depositors making (or attempting to make) such withdrawals. More severe runs on Sberbank outlets are found to be associated with more affluent and entrepreneurial regions, regions of more youthful and less educated population closer to Moscow, and areas with greater media freedom. Subsequent public opinion survey analysis of the socioeconomic correlates of runs on all Russian banks during the 1998 crisis reveals some interesting differences (in the effects of education in particular) on the propensity to successfully withdraw deposits.