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Welfare Effects of Financial Integration

Author

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  • Fecht, Falko
  • Grüner, Hans Peter
  • Hartmann, Philipp

Abstract

This paper compares four forms of inter-regional financial risk sharing: (i) segmentation, (ii) integration trough the secured interbank market, (ii) integration trough the unsecured interbank market, (iv) integration of retail markets. The secured interbank market is an optimal risk-sharing device when banks report liquidity needs truthfully. It allows diversification without the risk of cross-regional financial contagion. However, free-riding on the liquidity provision in this market restrains the achievable risk-sharing as the number of integrated regions increases. In too large an area this moral hazard problem becomes so severe that either unsecured interbank lending or, ultimately, the penetration of retail markets is preferable. Even though this deeper financial integration entails the risk of contagion it may be beneficial for large economic areas, because it can implement an efficient sharing of idiosyncratic regional shocks. Therefore, the enlargement of a monetary union, for example, extending the common interbank market might increase the benefits of also integrating retail banking markets through cross-border transactions or bank mergers. We discuss these results in the context of the ongoing debate on European financial integration and the removal of bank branching restrictions in the United States during the 1990s, and we derive implications for the relationship between financial integration and financial stability. Last we illustrate the scope for cross-regional risk sharing with data on non-performing loans for the European Union, Switzerland and the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Fecht, Falko & Grüner, Hans Peter & Hartmann, Philipp, 2007. "Welfare Effects of Financial Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 6311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6311
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elena Carletti & Philipp Hartmann & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2007. "Bank Mergers, Competition, and Liquidity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 1067-1105, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mutu, Simona & Breşfelean, Vasile Paul & Göndör, Mihaela, 2011. "The impact of the financial crisis on the interbank money markets behavior. Evidence from several CEE transition economies," MPRA Paper 42102, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Popov, Alexander & Ongena, Steven, 2011. "Interbank market integration, loan rates, and firm leverage," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 544-559, March.
    3. Pieterse-Bloem, M., 2011. "The effect of Emu on bond market integration and investor portfolio allocations," Other publications TiSEM 3c6ce80d-9260-424a-b889-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cross border lending; financial contagion; financial integration; interbank market;

    JEL classification:

    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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