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Risk-Sharing and Contagion in Networks

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  • Antonio Cabrales
  • Piero Gottardo
  • 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 European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2013/01.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2013/01

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Keywords: Firm networks; Contagion; Risk Sharing;

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  1. Diebold, Francis X. & Yilmaz, Kamil, 2007. "Measuring financial asset return and volatility spillovers, with application to global equity markets," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/02, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
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  3. Freixas, Xavier & Parigi, Bruno & Rochet, Jean Charles, 1999. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations and Liquidity Provision by the Central Bank," CEPR Discussion Papers 2325, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. 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.
  10. Helmut Elsinger & Alfred Lehar & Martin Summer, 2006. "Risk Assessment for Banking Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1301-1314, September.
  11. 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.
  12. Nier, Erlend & Yang, Jing & Yorulmazer, Tanju & Alentorn, Amadeo, 2007. "Network models and financial stability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 2033-2060, June.
  13. Yann Bramoullé & Rachel Kranon, 2005. "Risk-Sharing Networks," Cahiers de recherche 0526, CIRPEE.
  14. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Rahmi Ilkiliç, 2005. "Pairwise-Stability and Nash Equilibria in Network Formation," Working Papers 2005.34, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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