Network Formation and Systemic Risk, Second Version
This paper introduces a model of endogenous network formation and systemic risk. In it, strategic agents form networks that efficiently trade-off the possibility of systemic risk with the benefits of trade. Efficiency is a consequence of the high risk of contagion which forces agents to endogenize their externalities. Second, fundamentally ‘safer’ economies generate much higher interconnectedness, which in turn leads to higher systemic risk. Third, the structure of the network formed depends crucially on whether the shocks to the system are believed to be correlated or independent of each other. This underlines the importance of specifying the shock structure before investigating a given network as a particular network and shock structure could be incompatible.