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Risk-sharing and contagion in networks

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  • Antonio Cabrales
  • Piero Gottardi
  • Fernando Vega-Redondo

Abstract

We investigate the trade-off, arising in financial networks, between higher risksharing and greater exposure to contagion when the connectivity increases. We find that with shock distributions displaying "fat" tails, extreme segmentation into small components is optimal, while minimal segmentation and high density of connections are optimal with distributions exhibiting "thin" tails. For less regular distributions, intermediate degrees of segmentation and sparser connections are optimal. If firms are heterogeneous, optimality requires perfect assortativity in their linkages. In general, however, a conflict arises between optimality and individual incentives to establish linkages, due to a "size externality" not internalized by firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Cabrales & Piero Gottardi & Fernando Vega-Redondo, 2014. "Risk-sharing and contagion in networks," Working Papers 2014-18, FEDEA.
  • Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2014-18
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    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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