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Risk-Sharing and Contagion in Networks

Thursday 28th August 2014 - 09:45 to 10:15
INI Seminar Room 1
Joint with A. Cabrales & F. Vega-Redondo

We investigate the trade-off between the risk-sharing gains enjoyed by more interconnected firms and the costs resulting from an increased risk exposure. We find that when the shock distribution displays "fat tails," extreme segmentation into small components is optimal, while minimal segmentation and high density of connections are optimal when the distribution exhibits \thin" tails. For less regular distributions, intermediate degrees of segmentation and sparser connections are optimal. Also, if firms are heterogeneous, optimality requires perfect assortativity in a component. In general, however, a conflict arises between efficiency and pairwise stability, due to a "size externality" not internalized by firms.
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Presentation Material: 
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons