Financial Lives and the Vicious Cycle of Debt among Thai Agricultural Households
This paper aims to explore drivers and dynamics of Thai agricultural households’ vicious cycle of debt, currently impeding their development prospects. We use unique combination of nationwide representative survey of 720 households and longitudinal administrative and financial account data from the farmer registration, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and the National Credit Bureau (NCB) to reflect households’ financial problems from the lens of monthly income and expenditure flows, their financial attitudes and use of financial services from all sources to smooth consumption and debt dynamics and repayment behavior. The paper also tries to renew our understanding since Siamwalla et al. (1990) on the economic problems in Thai rural financial market and attempts to identify adverse impacts of debt moratorium policies, which are among the country’s most extensive policies aiming to help Thai agricultural households. The unique granularity and coverage of our data allow us to provide better understanding of the dynamics of problems and the heterogenous patterns across households – necessary to shed some lights for the redesign of rural financial system and sustainable farmers’ debt policies.