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Risk-Sharing and Contagion in Networks

  • Antonio Cabrales
  • Piero Gottardi
  • Fernando Vega-Redondo

We investigate the trade-off between the risk-sharing gains enjoyed by more interconnected firms and the costs resulting from an increased risk exposure. We find that when the shock distribution displays “fat” tails, extreme segmentation into small components is optimal, while minimal segmentation and high density of connections are optimal when the distribution exhibits “thin” tails. For less regular distributions, intermediate degrees of segmentation and sparser connections are optimal. Also, if firms are heterogeneous, optimality requires perfect assortativity in a component. In general, however, a conflict arises between efficiency and pairwise stability, due to a “size externality” not internalized by firms.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2014/wp-cesifo-2014-03/cesifo1_wp4715.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4715.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4715
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  1. Allen, Franklin & Babus, Ana & Carletti, Elena, 2012. "Asset commonality, debt maturity and systemic risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 519-534.
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  15. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
  16. Yaron Leitner, 2005. "Financial Networks: Contagion, Commitment, and Private Sector Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2925-2953, December.
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