Modeling Financial Crises and Sovereign Risks

Posted: 4 Jun 2010

See all articles by Dale F. Gray

Dale F. Gray

International Monetary Fund (IMF); MF Risk

Date Written: December 2009


The complex interactions, spillovers, and feedbacks of the global crisis that began in 2007 remind us of how important it is to improve our analysis and modeling of financial crises and sovereign risk. This review provides a broad framework to examine how vulnerabilities can build up and suddenly erupt in a financial crisis, with potentially disastrous feedback effects for sovereign debt and economic growth. Traditional macroeconomic analyses overlook the importance of risk, which makes them ill-suited to examine interconnectedness, risk transmission mechanisms, and contagion. After presenting an overview of the key features of the global 2007-2009 crisis, this review discusses new directions for research on modeling financial crises and sovereign risk, including the need for integrating risk into macroeconomic policy models and enhancing early warning system and financial contagion models through a more comprehensive view of economy-wide risks. Also, new tools to mitigate and control macro risk need to be developed, along with new approaches to regulate financial sector risk-taking and monitor and manage the interactions between private sector and sovereign risk.

Suggested Citation

Gray, Dale F., Modeling Financial Crises and Sovereign Risks (December 2009). Annual Review of Financial Economics, Vol. 1, pp. 117-144, 2009. Available at SSRN: or

Dale F. Gray (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

MF Risk

5921 Searl Terrace
Bethesda, MD 20816

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