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Financial integration and international risk sharing

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  • Bai, Yan
  • Zhang, Jing

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that financial liberalization can help countries insure against idiosyncratic risk. There is little evidence, however, that countries have increased risk sharing despite widespread financial liberalization. We show that the key to understanding this puzzling observation is that conventional wisdom assumes frictionless international financial markets, while actual markets are far from frictionless: financial contracts are incomplete and contract enforceability is limited. When countries remove official capital controls, default risk is still present as an implicit barrier to capital flows. If default risk were eliminated, capital flows would be six times greater, and international risk sharing would increase substantially.

Suggested Citation

  • Bai, Yan & Zhang, Jing, 2012. "Financial integration and international risk sharing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 17-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:86:y:2012:i:1:p:17-32
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.08.009
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    Keywords

    Sovereign default; Financial liberalization; Financial frictions; International capital flows;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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