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Risk and Global Economic Architecture: Why Full Financial Integration May Be Undesirable

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  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

Abstract

This paper provides a general framework for analyzing the optimal degree and form of financial integration. Full integration is not in general optimal: faced with a choice between two polar regimes, full integration or autarky, autarky may be superior. The intuition is simple: if underlying technologies are not convex, then risk-sharing can lower expected utility. The simplistic models arguing for financial integration typically employed in economics assume convexity; but the world is rife with non-convexities, e.g. associated with bankruptcy. The architecture of the credit market can, for instance, affect the likelihood of a bankruptcy cascade, “contagion,” and systemic risk.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 388-92

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:2:p:388-92

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.2.388
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  1. Gallegati Mauro & Greenwald Bruce & Richiardi Matteo G & Stiglitz Joseph E., 2008. "The Asymmetric Effect of Diffusion Processes: Risk Sharing and Contagion," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-22, September.
  2. Delli Gatti, Domenico & Gallegati, Mauro & Greenwald, Bruce & Russo, Alberto & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2006. "Business fluctuations in a credit-network economy," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 370(1), pages 68-74.
  3. Stefano Battiston & Domenico Delli Gatti & Mauro Gallegati & Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2009. "Liaisons Dangereuses: Increasing Connectivity, Risk Sharing, and Systemic Risk," NBER Working Papers 15611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dalit Contini & Annette Riehl & Andrea Scagni, 2007. "The Role of Family Background on Secondary School Choices," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 72, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
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