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Risk and Global Economic Architecture: Why Full Financial Integration May Be Undesirable

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  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

Abstract

This paper provides a general framework for analyzing the optimal degree and form of financial integration. Full integration is not in general optimal: faced with a choice between two polar regimes, full integration or autarky, autarky may be superior. The intuition is simple: if underlying technologies are not convex, then risk-sharing can lower expected utility. The simplistic models arguing for financial integration typically employed in economics assume convexity; but the world is rife with non-convexities, e.g. associated with bankruptcy. The architecture of the credit market can, for instance, affect the likelihood of a bankruptcy cascade, "contagion," and systemic risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2010. "Risk and Global Economic Architecture: Why Full Financial Integration May Be Undesirable," NBER Working Papers 15718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15718
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gallegati Mauro & Greenwald Bruce & Richiardi Matteo G & Stiglitz Joseph E., 2008. "The Asymmetric Effect of Diffusion Processes: Risk Sharing and Contagion," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-22, September.
    2. Stiglitz,Joseph & Greenwald,Bruce, 2003. "Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521810340, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Dalit Contini & Annette Riehl & Andrea Scagni, 2007. "The Role of Family Background on Secondary School Choices," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 72, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    5. Delli Gatti, Domenico & Gallegati, Mauro & Greenwald, Bruce & Russo, Alberto & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2006. "Business fluctuations in a credit-network economy," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 370(1), pages 68-74.
    6. David M. G. Newbery & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1984. "Pareto Inferior Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 1-12.
    7. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-264.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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