IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Liaisons Dangereuses: Increasing Connectivity, Risk Sharing, and Systemic Risk

  • Stefano Battiston
  • Domenico Delli Gatti
  • Mauro Gallegati
  • Bruce C. Greenwald
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

We characterize the evolution over time of a network of credit relations among financial agents as a system of coupled stochastic processes. Each process describes the dynamics of individual financial robustness, while the coupling results from a network of liabilities among agents. The average level of risk diversification of the agents coincides with the density of links in the network. In addition to a process of diffusion of financial distress, we also consider a discrete process of default cascade, due to the re-evaluation of agents' assets. In this framework we investigate the probability of individual defaults as well as the probability of systemic default as a function of the network density. While it is usually thought that diversification of risk always leads to a more stable financial system, in our model a tension emerges between individual risk and systemic risk. As the number of counterparties in the credit network increases beyond a certain value, the default probability, both individual and systemic, starts to increase. This tension originates from the fact that agents are subject to a financial accelerator mechanism. In other words, individual financial fragility feeding back on itself may amplify the effect of an initial shock and lead to a full fledged systemic crisis. The results offer a simple possible explanation for the endogenous emergence of systemic risk in a credit network.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15611.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Battiston, Stefano & Delli Gatti, Domenico & Gallegati, Mauro & Greenwald, Bruce & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2012. "Liaisons dangereuses: Increasing connectivity, risk sharing, and systemic risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1121-1141.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15611
Note: EFG
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2008. "Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007-08," NBER Working Papers 14612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2009. "Unstable Banking," NBER Working Papers 14943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Soramäki, Kimmo & Bech, Morten L. & Arnold, Jeffrey & Glass, Robert J. & Beyeler, Walter E., 2007. "The topology of interbank payment flows," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 379(1), pages 317-333.
  4. Jackson Matthew O. & Rogers Brian W., 2007. "Relating Network Structure to Diffusion Properties through Stochastic Dominance," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16, February.
  5. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1998. "Financial Contagion," Working Papers 98-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Kroszner, Randall S. & Laeven, Luc & Klingebiel, Daniela, 2007. "Banking crises, financial dependence, and growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 187-228, April.
  7. 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.
  8. Longstaff, Francis A., 2010. "The subprime credit crisis and contagion in financial markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 436-450, September.
  9. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Financial Regulation in a System Context," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 229-274.
  10. Stiglitz,Joseph & Greenwald,Bruce, 2003. "Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521008051, October.
  11. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2010. "Risk and Global Economic Architecture: Why Full Financial Integration May Be Undesirable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 388-92, May.
  12. Helmut Elsinger & Alfred Lehar & Martin Summer, 2006. "Risk Assessment for Banking Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1301-1314, September.
  13. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
  14. Ongena, Steven & Smith, David C., 2000. "What Determines the Number of Bank Relationships? Cross-Country Evidence," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 26-56, January.
  15. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2009. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2201-2238, June.
  16. Freixas, Xavier & Parigi, Bruno M & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2000. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations, and Liquidity Provision by the Central Bank," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 611-38, August.
  17. Bartram, Sohnke M. & Brown, Gregory W. & Hund, John E., 2007. "Estimating systemic risk in the international financial system," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 835-869, December.
  18. Allen, Franklin & Babus, Ana & Carletti, Elena, 2013. "Asset Commonality, Debt Maturity and Systemic Risk," Working Papers 10-30, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  19. Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio, 2011. "Assessing financial contagion in the interbank market: Maximum entropy versus observed interbank lending patterns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1114-1127, May.
  20. Upper, Christian & Worms, Andreas, 2002. "Estimating Bilateral Exposures in the German Interbank Market: Is there a Danger of Contagion?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2002,09, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  21. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-48, April.
  22. Iori, Giulia & Jafarey, Saqib & Padilla, Francisco G., 2006. "Systemic risk on the interbank market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 525-542, December.
  23. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & John Moore, 2002. "Balance-Sheet Contagion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 46-50, May.
  24. Nier, Erlend & Yang, Jing & Yorulmazer, Tanju & Alentorn, Amadeo, 2008. "Network models and financial stability," Bank of England working papers 346, Bank of England.
  25. Michael Boss & Martin Summer & Stefan Thurner, 2004. "Contagion Flow Through Banking Networks," Papers cond-mat/0403167,
  26. Iori, Giulia & De Masi, Giulia & Precup, Ovidiu Vasile & Gabbi, Giampaolo & Caldarelli, Guido, 2008. "A network analysis of the Italian overnight money market," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 259-278, January.
  27. Shin, Hyun Song, 2008. "Risk and liquidity in a system context," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 315-329, July.
  28. Chunsheng Zhou, 1997. "Default correlation: an analytical result," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  29. Larry Eisenberg & Thomas H. Noe, 2001. "Systemic Risk in Financial Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(2), pages 236-249, February.
  30. Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521857406, October.
  31. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1995. " A Simple Approach to Valuing Risky Fixed and Floating Rate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 789-819, July.
  32. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
  33. Boissay, Frédéric, 2006. "Credit chains and the propagation of financial distress," Working Paper Series 0573, European Central Bank.
  34. Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521674096, October.
  35. Gai, Prasanna & Kapadia, Sujit, 2010. "Contagion in financial networks," Bank of England working papers 383, Bank of England.
  36. Black, Fischer & Cox, John C, 1976. "Valuing Corporate Securities: Some Effects of Bond Indenture Provisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 351-67, May.
  37. Wagner, Wolf, 2010. "Diversification at financial institutions and systemic crises," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 373-386, July.
  38. Furfine, Craig H, 2003. " Interbank Exposures: Quantifying the Risk of Contagion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 111-28, February.
  39. Stefania Vitali & James B. Glattfelder & Stefano Battiston, 2011. "The network of global corporate control," Papers 1107.5728,, revised Sep 2011.
  40. Sanjeev Goyal, 2007. "Introduction to Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks
    [Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  41. Hans Degryse & Grégory Nguyen, 2007. "Interbank Exposures: An Empirical Examination of Contagion Risk in the Belgian Banking System," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(2), pages 123-171, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15611. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.