28 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2015 Last revised: 2 Nov 2015
Date Written: November 2015
Financial institutions form multi-layer networks of contracts among each other and exposures to common assets. As a result, the default probability of one institution depends on the default probability of all the other institutions in the network. Here, we show how small errors on the knowledge of the network of contracts can lead to large errors on the probability of systemic defaults. From the point of view of financial regulators, our findings show that the complexity of financial instruments and the complexity of networks of contracts may decrease our ability to estimate and mitigate systemic risk.
Keywords: financial markets, systemic risk, complex systems, computational social science
JEL Classification: D85, L14, E50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Battiston, Stefano and Caldarelli, Guido and May, Robert and Roukny, Tarik and Stiglitz, Joseph E., The Price of Complexity in Financial Networks (November 2015). Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 15-49. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2594028 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2594028