Challenging the pro-development role of trade agreements when remoteness counts: the Ecuadorian experience
The question whether global financial integration is beneficial for everyone remains highly disputed. It is often assumed that financial globalization involves threshold effects, where integration is worthwhile only when certain preconditions are met. However, it has also been noted that financial account liberalization also brings about considerable additional indirect benefits. These indirect benefits are often the same as the preconditions, such that there exists a complex two-way relationship between financial globalization and the preconditions/additional benefits. Such a relationship can lead to financial globalization traps, where some economies are trapped at a low level stable equilibrium, while others enjoy ever increasing financial integration. In this paper, we use de facto indicators of international financial integration to investigate if the dynamics of financial integration exhibit signs of such thresholds and traps. We present a parametric way of estimating these important parameters, based on recently developed sample splitting and threshold estimation methods. We find that there are indeed signs of multiple equilibriums if we look at the growth rates of total assets and liabilities. We also find that a group of countries are apparently caught in a high debt stock trap.
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