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

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15718.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15718
Note: IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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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. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521810340 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521008051 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. 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.
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