CUNA economist findings show credit unions are contributing to the economy and financial inclusion

September 19, 2019


September 19, 2019

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) today released the September 2019 edition of the Economic Update, sponsored by the CUNA Finance Council. Senior Economist Jordan van Rijn highlights interesting findings from academic journals describing the impact credit unions are making to the economy and financial inclusion. Van Rijn provides an update on the increasing warning signs for the economy and reviews academic papers that differentiate credit union operations from banks and other for-profit institutions. 

“Economists generally develop economic models that assume that banks seek to maximize profits or shareholder value, and most economists either assume that credit unions behave the same way, or they ignore credit unions altogether,” van Rijn said. “Professor Cororaton is one of a very few academic economists that attempts to model credit unions differently: she does this by assuming that credit unions don’t simply exist to maximize profits but also care about their members’ welfare.”

The September video also features:  

  • Consumer sentiment showing biggest drop in six years
  • Contraction in the manufacturing sector for the first time in three years
  • Analysis of three academic articles related to credit unions and financial security including:
    • “The Impact of Firm Objectives on Lending: Banks and Credit Unions during in the Great Recession” (Cororaton, 2018)
    • “Who Consumes the Credit Union Tax Subsidy?” (DeYoung, 2018)
    • “Household Credit Access, and Economic Mobility” (Mayer, 2018)

“While credit unions have largely been ignored by the economics and finance literature, we’ve found that more recently, academics and other researchers have started to recognize that credit unions really are different from banks and other for-profit institutions, and that this difference matters for their members and the economy as a whole,” van Rijn said.

The September 2019 CUNA Economic update is complimentarily available to all CUNA members. To watch the video and other past updates, visit 


About CUNA:          

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 115 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit 


Lauren Williams        
CUNA Communications        

Tiffany Niederwerfer 

CUNA Marketing