Published in STUDIES

F. Economou, Ch. Triantopoulos. 2018. | ISBN: 978-960-341-123-9

Cover Meleth 79 LOW


The purpose of the study is to probe into the factors that affected household deposits from 2003 to 2014 in Greece, as well as in three other southern European countries namely, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Τhese countries have state-led financial systems, i.e. systems based on traditional financial intermediation, and faced fiscal imbalances and similar problems.


The study (a) describes the characteristics of the financial systems in the countries under examination, focusing on the Greek crisis, (b) provides a detailed review of the literature on the determinants of savings, (c) identifies a gap in the literature regarding the respective household deposits determinants, (d) formulates the theoretical background for the examination of household deposits, and (e) engages in an empirical analysis.

The empirical analysis identifies the factors that affected household deposits, as well as the impact of the crisis and the austerity measures that followed. According to the results for the whole period under examination (2003-2014), using monthly data, changes in unemployment had a negative effect, while the variable that proxies the real interest rate had a positive effect. Changes in economic sentiment had a positive effect, while inflation was not associated with statistically significant results. Furthermore, the results provide evidence of seasonality for specific months.

The use of monthly data allows for the examination of sub-periods, to identify the deposit behavior of households and possible changes due to the Greek crisis. Looking at two endogenously defined sub-periods regarding the pre- and post-Greek debt crisis period, reveals that, from February 2003 to March 2011, households shaped their deposits behavior on the basis of economic factors such as unemployment, inflation and real returns. From April 2011 to December 2014, the only explanatory variable that had a positive and statistically significant effect was economic sentiment. The re-estimation of the basic model using data running from January 2015 (including the imposition of capital controls) to July 2016 provides similar results and confirms the negative impact of uncertainty on the deposit behavior of households. Finally, the empirical results regarding Greece are compared to the findings for the other southern European countries under examination.

The empirical results provide useful insights for policy makers, clearly stating the impact of sentiment indicators, especially during periods of crisis.

contents (pdf)

executive summary - in english (pdf)

pdf file