The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the impact of international financial integration on macroeconomic volatility in a large group of industrial and developing economies over the period 1960-99. We report two major results: First, while the volatility of output growth has, on average, declined in the 1990s relative to the three preceding decades, we also document that, on average, the volatility of consumption growth relative to that of income growth has increased for more financially integrated developing economies in the 1990s. Second, increasing financial openness is associated with rising relative volatility of consumption, but only up to a certain threshold. The benefits of financial integration in terms of improved risk-sharing and consumption-smoothing possibilities appear to accrue only beyond this threshold.