Financial Integration, Economic Growth and Financial Stability

Financial integration is a strong and growing force shaping the international economic landscape. This research group analyses the role of financial integration for economic growth and financial stability.

Neoclassical economics suggest that an integrated global financial market can boost economic growth through reduced capital costs and increased risk-sharing. However, countries with a liberalised capital account in fact do not necessarily perform better than economies with capital controls, and the last global financial crisis caused a reversal to the process of financial globalisation. Therefore, reevaluating the role of financial integration for economic growth and financial stability is of great importance for policy discussion as well as academic research.

This research group aims at finding answers to the following questions: First, the group investigates how the productivity of firms is affected by the access to international capital and whether capital-intensive sectors benefit more from capital account liberalisation than other sectors. In addition, this group explores the structural transformational consequences of financial integration. Second, international capital is fueled into the economy through financial institutions. The group analyses whether the cross-border capital flow alternates banks’ behaviour and specifically, how the financing maturity, structure and systemic risk are affected. Third, international organisations like the IMF suggested a gradual path to liberalise the capital account, the main idea of which is to liberalise the inward flow before the flow out, and the FDI flow before the flow of debt and equity. However, empirical evidence is rare. This group studies whether and how the sequencing of capital account liberalisation matters for financial stability.

Research Cluster
Financial Stability and Regulation

Your contact

Professor Xiang Li, PhD
Professor Xiang Li, PhD
Mitglied - Department Macroeconomics
Send Message +49 345 7753-805 Personal page

Refereed Publications

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From World Factory to World Investor: The New Way of China Integrating into the World

Bijun Wang Xiang Li

in: China Economic Journal, No. 2, 2017

Abstract

This paper argues that outward direct investment (ODI) is replacing international trade as the new way China integrates into the world. Based on two complementary datasets, we document the pattern of Chinese ODI. We argue that the rapid growth of China’s ODI is the result of strong economic development, increasing domestic constraints, and supportive government policies. Compared with trade integration, investment integration involves China more deeply in global business. As a new global investor, China’s ODI in the future is full of opportunities, risks, and challenges. The Chinese government should improve bureaucracy coordination and participate more in designing and maintaining international rules to protect ODI interests.

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  • 1

Working Papers

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Surges and Instability: The Maturity Shortening Channel

Xiang Li Dan Su

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 23, 2020

Abstract

Capital inflow surges destabilise the economy through a maturity shortening mechanism. Our main findings are threefold. First, surges are not just scaled-up normal flows, as they change the shape of the interest rate term structure. Second, corporate debt maturity shortens substantially during surges, especially for firms with foreign bank relationships. Third, the probability of a crisis following surges with a widened term spread is at least twice that after surges without one. Our work suggests that financial globalisation is not merely an equalisation of interest rate differentials, and debt maturity is key to understanding the consequences of capital inflow bonanzas.

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Capital Account Liberalisation Does Worsen Income Inequality

Xiang Li Dan Su

in: IWH Discussion Papers, forthcoming

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between capital account liberalisation and income inequality. Adopting a novel identification strategy, namely a difference-in-difference estimation combined with propensity score matching between the liberalised and closed countries, we provide robust evidence that opening the capital account is associated with an adverse impact on income inequality in developing countries. The main findings are threefold. First, fully liberalising the capital account is associated with a small rise of 0.07-0.30 standard deviations in the Gini coefficient in the short-run and a rise as large as 0.32-0.62 standard deviations in the ten years after liberalisation, on average. Second, widening income inequality is the outcome of the growing income share of the rich at the cost of the poor. The long-term effect of capital account liberalisation includes a reduction in the income share of the poorest half by 2.66-3.79 percentage points and an increase in the income share of the richest 10% by 5.19-8.76 percentage points. Third, the directions and categories of capital account liberalisation matter. Inward capital account liberalisation is more detrimental to income equality than outward capital account liberalisation, and free access to the international equity market exacerbates income inequality the most, while foreign direct investment has an insignificant impact on inequality.

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How Does Economic Policy Uncertainty Affect Corporate Debt Maturity?

Xiang Li Dan Su

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 6, 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates whether and how economic policy uncertainty affects corporate debt maturity. Using a cross-country firm-level dataset for France, Germany, Spain, and Italy from 1996 to 2010, we find that an increase in economic policy uncertainty is significantly associated with a shortened debt maturity. Specifically, a 1% increase in economic policy uncertainty is associated with a 0.22% decrease in the long-term debt-to-assets ratio and a 0.08% decrease in debt maturity. Moreover, the impacts of economic policy uncertainty are stronger for innovation-intensive firms. We use firms‘ flexibility in changing debt maturity and the deviation to leverage target to gauge the causal relationship, and identify the reduced investment and steepened term structure as transmission mechanisms.

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What Does Peer-to-Peer Lending Evidence Say About the Risk-taking Channel of Monetary Policy?

Yiping Huang Xiang Li Chu Wang

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2019

Abstract

This paper uses loan application-level data from a Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform to study the risk-taking channel of monetary policy. By employing a direct ex-ante measure of risk-taking and estimating the simultaneous equations of loan approval and loan amount, we are the first to provide quantitative evidence of the impact of monetary policy on the risk-taking of nonbank financial institution. We find that the search-for-yield is the main workhorse of the risk-taking effect, while we do not observe consistent findings of risk-shifting from the liquidity change. Monetary policy easing is associated with a higher probability of granting loans to risky borrowers and a greater riskiness of credit allocation, but these changes do not necessarily relate to a larger loan amount on average.

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What Does Peer-to-Peer Lending Evidence Say About the Risk-taking Channel of Monetary Policy?

Yiping Huang Xiang Li Chu Wang

in: CESifo Area Conferences 2019 Series: Macro, Money and International Finance, 2019

Abstract

This paper uses loan application-level data from a peer-to-peer lending platform to study the risk-taking channel of monetary policy. By employing a direct ex-ante measure of risk-taking and estimating the simultaneous equations of loan approval and loan amount, we are the first to provide quantitative evidence of the impact of monetary policy on the risk-taking of nonbank financial institution. We find that the search-for-yield is the main workhorse of the risk-taking effect, while we do not observe consistent findings of risk-shifting from the liquidity change. Monetary policy easing is associated with a higher probability of granting loans to risky borrowers and a greater riskiness of credit allocation, but these changes do not necessarily relate to a larger loan amount on average.

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