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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Does Capital Account Liberalization Affect Income Inequality?

Xiang Li Dan Su

in: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

Abstract

By adopting an identification strategy of difference‐in‐difference estimation combined with propensity score matching between liberalized and closed countries, this paper provides robust evidence that opening the capital account is associated with an increase in income inequality in developing countries. Specifically, capital account liberalization, in the long run, is associated with a reduction in the income share of the poorest half by 2.66–3.79% points and an increase in that of the richest 10% by 5.19–8.76% points. Moreover, directions and categories of capital account liberalization matter. The relationship is more pronounced when liberalizing inward and equity capital flows.

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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: Journal of Corporate Finance, 2021

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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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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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China’s Monetary Policy Communication: Frameworks, Impact, and Recommendations

Michael McMahon Alfred Schipke Xiang Li

in: IMF Working Paper No. 18/244, 2018

Abstract

Financial markets are eager for any signal of monetary policy from the People’s Bank of China (PBC). The importance of effective monetary policy communication will only increase as China continues to liberalize its financial system and open its economy. This paper discusses the country’s unique institutional setup and empirically analyzes the impact on financial markets of the PBC’s main communication channels, including a novel communication channel. The results suggest that there has been significant progress but that PBC communication is still evolving toward the level of other major economies. The paper recommends medium-term policy reforms and reforms that can be adopted quickly.

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Within Gain, Structural Pain: Capital Account Liberalization and Economic Growth

Xiang Li Dan Su

in: New Structural Economics Working Paper No. E2018010, 2018

Abstract

This paper is the first to study the effects of capital account liberalization on structural transformation and compare the contribution of within term and structural term to economic growth. We use a 10-sector-level productivity dataset to decomposes the effects of opening capital account on within-sector productivity growth and cross-sector structural transformation. We find that opening capital account is associated with labor productivity and employment share increment in sectors with higher human capital intensity and external financial dependence, as well as non-tradable sectors. But it results in a growth-reducing structural transformation by directing labor into sectors with lower productivity. Moreover, in the ten years after capital account liberalization, the contribution share of structural transformation decreases while that of within productivity growth increases. We conclude that the relationship between capital account liberalization and economic growth is within gain and structural pain.

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