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The Emergence of Correlations in Studies of Global Economic Inter-dependence and Contagion


  • Eric J. Friedman

    (School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, Cornell University)

  • Simon Johnson

    (Sloane School of Management, MIT)

  • A.S. Landsberg

    (W. M. Keck Science Center, Claremont Colleges)


We construct a simple firm-based automata model for global economic inter-dependence of countries using modern notions of self-organized criticality and recently developed dynamical-renormalization-group methods (e.g., L. Pietronero et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 72(11):1690 (1994); J. Hasty and K. Wiesenfeld, Phys. Rev. Lett., 81(8):1722, (1998)). We demonstrate how extremely strong statistical correlations can naturally develop between two countries even if the financial interconnections between those countries remain very weak. Potential policy implications of this result are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric J. Friedman & Simon Johnson & A.S. Landsberg, "undated". "The Emergence of Correlations in Studies of Global Economic Inter-dependence and Contagion," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-35, Claremont Colleges.
  • Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2002-35

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bak, Per & Chen, Kan & Scheinkman, Jose & Woodford, Michael, 1993. "Aggregate fluctuations from independent sectoral shocks: self-organized criticality in a model of production and inventory dynamics," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-30, March.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    3. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    4. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    5. Roberto Rigobon, 2002. "Contagion: How to Measure It?," NBER Chapters,in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 269-334 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lagunoff, Roger & Schreft, Stacey L, 1999. "Financial Fragility with Rational And Irrational Exuberance," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 531-560, August.
    7. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1999. "What caused the Asian currency and financial crisis?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-373, October.
    8. Kristin J. Forbes & Roberto Rigobon, 2002. "No Contagion, Only Interdependence: Measuring Stock Market Comovements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2223-2261, October.
    9. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Scheinkman, Jose A & Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Self-Organized Criticality and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 417-421, May.
    11. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1998. "Financial Contagion Journal of Political Economy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-31, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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