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

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

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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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. 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.
  2. Domenico Delli Gatti & Mauro Gallegati & Bruce Greenwald & Alberto Russo & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2010. "Business fluctuations in a credit-network economy," Papers 1006.3521,
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521008051 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Mauro Gallegati & Bruce Greenwald & Matteo Richiardi & Joseph Stiglitz, 2007. "The Asymmetric Effect of Diffusion Processes: Risk Sharing and Contagion," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 71, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521810340 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Battiston, Stefano & Delli Gatti, Domenico & Gallegati, Mauro & Greenwald, Bruce & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2012. "Liaisons dangereuses: Increasing connectivity, risk sharing, and systemic risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1121-1141.
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