The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Financial innovation has increased diversification opportunities and lowered investment costs, but has not reduced the relative cost of active (informed) investment strategies relative to passive (less informed) strategies. What are the consequences? I study an economy with linear production technologies, some more risky than others. Investors can use low quality public information or collect high quality, but costly, private information. Information helps avoiding excessively risky investments. Financial innovation lowers the incentives for private information collection and deteriorates public information: the economy invests more often in excessively risky technologies. This changes the business cycle properties and can reduce welfare by increasing the likelihood of "liquidation crises"