Spirituality affects the behavior of mortgagers

November 29, 2019

Household income has always been one of the most important economic development indicators for any country and a subject of researchers' focus. The level of income can determine the nature of communication between an individual and banks, as it is taken into consideration in loan procedures and other operations. And customer relations, in turn, play an important role in any bank's revenue, level of risks, and balances, as well as in the development of the bank industry in general.

In her presentation Olga Miroshnichenko, a Sc.D in Economics, and a Professor at the Department of Economics and Finance, Tyumen State University, analyzed the correlation between income, mortgage, and spirituality, and spoke about the effect of morals on the behavior of mortgagers. Spirituality is hardly an economic concept, however, it affects different aspects of our society including economy and law. Conversely, economy and law can influence one's moral development.

The very definition of spirituality is up for discussion. In her study Olga Miroshnichenko defines it as the urge to do good and not to do bad, mindfulness, and taking responsibility for one's actions. This view of spirituality is enforced in Tyumen region via various volunteer movements that are supported by the law and currently include around 150,000 members (10% of the region's population). There are 16 volunteer movements in Tyumen region, including education, promotion of patriotism, and social volunteering. Olga Miroshnichenko studied possible effects of this aspect of spirituality on the economy, specifically on the mortgage industry. First, she analyzed the variability of household income considering not only gross and average income, but also fluctuations within certain time periods, growth rates, inequality index, and the level of unemployment. All this data is taken into account by banks before a loan is provided. The author of the study also analyzed the level of indebtedness in the Russian bank sector in 2008-2018. It turned out that even in crisis periods the amount of past due mortgage payments never exceeded 3%. The value of this indicator differed for Russian rouble and foreign currencies, but generally the volume of past due debt was less in mortgage than in other types of credits. According to the researcher, when the income of mortgagers grew they tended to repay their credits before maturity. This confirms that the majority of such mortgagers perceived these actions as necessary and right, thus expressing their moral values.

"The growth of inequality and unemployment and the reduction of actual household income prevent the development of the mortgage industry. Based on the results of my study, we can characterize an average mortgager as an individual that tries to avoid 'doing bad' and takes full responsibility for their decisions and actions," commented Olga Miroshnichenko.

University of Tyumen

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