Modern financial systems exhibit a high degree of interdependence, with connections between financial institutions stemming from both the asset and the liability sides of their balance sheets. Networks--broadly understood as a collection of nodes and links between nodes--can be a useful representation of financial systems. By modeling economic interactions, network analysis can better explain certain economic phenomena. In this chapter, Allen and Babus argue that the use of network theories can enrich our understanding of financial systems. They explore several critical issues. First, they address the issue of systemic risk, by studying two questions: how resilient financial networks are to contagion, and how financial institutions form connections when exposed to the risk of contagion. Second, they consider how network theory can be used to explain freezes in the interbank market. Third, they examine how social networks can improve investment decisions and corporate governance, based on recent empirical results. Fourth, they examine the role of networks in distributing primary issues of securities. Finally, they consider the role of networks as a form of mutual monitoring, as in microfinance.
Applications to Finance
Freezes in Interbank Markets
Social Networks and Investment Decisions
Investment Banking and Networks