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Asymmetric Information and the Russian Individual Savings Market

Svetlana Avdasheva () and Andrei Yakovlev ()

Post-Communist Economies, 2000, vol. 12, issue 2, 165-185

Abstract: The article considers the influence of informational imperfections on the performance of the Russian financial market. The focus is on the individual savings market, which exhibits inefficiencies, including those associated with the market power of a dominant agent—Sberbank. Reinforcement of Sberbank's dominance on the market in the period 1994-98 (before the August default combined with financial crisis) is explained as a consequence of asymmetric information about the probability of bankruptcy of a new bank. Under asymmetric information a new private bank has to provide specific quality signals in order to attract depositors. Two major lines of inquiry are the criteria for choosing forms of savings, including that of a bank in which to deposit money, by Russian citizens, and banks' advertising strategies to confirm the factual risk of default. Within the conceptual framework of a game with separating equilibrium, we analyse the behaviour of the agents on both supply and demand sides in the market. We find that there is evidence of using advertising as a tool of quality signalling at a certain phase of the Russian individual savings market's development.

Date: 2000
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DOI: 10.1080/14631370050043625

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