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The "Big C": Identifying Contagion

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  • Kristin Forbes

Abstract

This paper surveys and assesses the academic literature on defining, measuring, and identifying financial contagion and the various channels by which it can occur. It also includes new empirical analysis of recent trends and causes of contagion, highlighting contagion risks in the euro area. The paper defines "interdependence" as high correlations across markets during all states of the world and "contagion" as the spillovers from extreme negative events. Interdependence has increased dramatically over time, especially within the euro area, even after controlling for global shocks and changes in volatility. Not surprisingly, negative events in one country also quickly affect others. Regression analysis shows that a country is more vulnerable to contagion if it has a more levered banking system, greater trade exposure, weaker macroeconomic fundamentals, and larger international portfolio investment liabilities. Countries are less vulnerable, however, if they have larger international portfolio investment assets (which can provide a buffer against shocks) and are less reliant on debt (versus equity) for international financing. These results have important implications for understanding contagion and for analyzing policies designed to mitigate contagion, especially for the current crisis in the euro area.

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  • Kristin Forbes, 2012. "The "Big C": Identifying Contagion," NBER Working Papers 18465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18465
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    Cited by:

    1. Flavin, Thomas J. & Sheenan, Lisa, 2015. "The role of U.S. subprime mortgage-backed assets in propagating the crisis: Contagion or interdependence?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 167-186.
    2. Raffaela Giordano & Marcello Pericoli & Pietro Tommasino, 2013. "Pure or Wake-up-Call Contagion? Another Look at the EMU Sovereign Debt Crisis," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 131-160, June.
    3. Claeys, Peter & Vašíček, Bořek, 2014. "Measuring bilateral spillover and testing contagion on sovereign bond markets in Europe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 151-165.
    4. Elisabetta Croci Angelini & Francesco Farina & Enzo Valentini, 2016. "Contagion across Eurozone’s sovereign spreads and the Core-Periphery divide," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 43(1), pages 197-213, February.
    5. Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2014. "Causality and contagion in EMU sovereign debt markets," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 12-27.
    6. Irfan Akbar Kazi & Suzanne Salloy, 2013. "Contagion effect due to Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and the global financial crisis - From the perspective of the Credit Default Swaps’ G14 dealers," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-6, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    7. Agata Kliber, 2014. "The Dynamics of Sovereign Credit Default Swaps and the Evolution of the Financial Crisis in Selected Central European Economies," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 64(4), pages 330-350, September.
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    11. Lee, Seohyun, 2017. "Three essays on uncertainty: real and financial effects of uncertainty shocks," MPRA Paper 83617, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    14. Cody Yu-Ling Hsiao & James Morley, 2015. "Debt and Financial Market Contagion," Discussion Papers 2015-02, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    15. De Bruyckere, Valerie & Gerhardt, Maria & Schepens, Glenn & Vander Vennet, Rudi, 2013. "Bank/sovereign risk spillovers in the European debt crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 4793-4809.
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    22. Irfan Akbar Kazi & Suzanne Salloy, 2014. "Dynamics in the correlations of the Credit Default Swaps’ G14 dealers: Are there any contagion effects due to Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and the global financial crisis?," Working Papers 2014-237, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
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    25. Gębka, Bartosz & Karoglou, Michail, 2013. "Have the GIPSI settled down? Breaks and multivariate stochastic volatility models for, and not against, the European financial integration," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3639-3653.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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