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Risk-sharing and contagion in networks

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  • Antonio Cabrales

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  • Piero Gottardi

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  • Fernando Vega-Redondo

    ()

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate how the capacity of an economic system to absorb shocks depends on the specific pattern of interconnections established among financial firms. The key trade-off at work is between the risk-sharing gains enjoyed by firms when they become more interconnected and the large-scale costs resulting from an increased risk exposure. We focus on two dimensions of the network structure: the size of the (disjoint) components into which the network is divided, and the “relative density" of connections within each component. We find that when the distribution of the shocks displays "fat" tails extreme segmentation is optimal, while minimal segmentation and high density are optimal when the distribution exhibits "thin" tails. For other, less regular distributions intermediate degrees of segmentation and sparser connections are also optimal. We also find that there is typically a conflict between efficiency and pairwise stability, due to a “size externality" that is not internalized by firms who belong to components that have reached an individually optimal size. Finally, optimality requires perfect assortativity for firms in a component.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1301.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1301

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Keywords: Firm networks; Contagion; Risk Sharing;

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2013. "Systemic Risk and Stability in Financial Networks," NBER Working Papers 18727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Allen, Franklin & Babus, Ana & Carletti, Elena, 2011. "Asset Commonality, Debt Maturity and Systemic Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 8476, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Goyal, Sanjeev & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2007. "Structural holes in social networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 460-492, November.
  4. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Rahmi İlkılıç, 2009. "Pairwise-stability and Nash equilibria in network formation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 51-79, March.
  5. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1995. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Nier, Erlend & Yang, Jing & Yorulmazer, Tanju & Alentorn, Amadeo, 2008. "Network models and financial stability," Bank of England working papers 346, Bank of England.
  7. Francis Bloch & Garance Genicot, 2005. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," 2005 Meeting Papers 156, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    • Francis Bloch (GREQAM and Universite de la Mediterranee), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University, and Debraj Ray (New York University and Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)), 2004. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-16, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Xavier Freixas & Bruno M. Parigi & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2000. "Systemic risk, interbank relations, and liquidity provision by the central bank," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 611-640.
  9. Diebold, Francis X. & Yilmaz, Kamil, 2008. "Measuring financial asset return and volatilty spillovers, with application to global equity markets," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/26, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  10. Bramoullé, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Risk-sharing networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 275-294.
  11. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Who's Who in Networks. Wanted: The Key Player," Working Papers 178, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  12. Yaron Leitner, 2005. "Financial Networks: Contagion, Commitment, and Private Sector Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2925-2953, December.
  13. Helmut Elsinger & Alfred Lehar & Martin Summer, 2002. "Risk Assessment for Banking Systems," Working Papers 79, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  14. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
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