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.
The paper compares trends in financial integration within Asia with those in industrialized countries and other regional groups. Declines in cross-country dispersion in equity returns and interest rates suggest increased Asian integration, with the process interrupted by crises and global volatility. Cross-border equity and bond holdings have also increased, but Asian countries remain considerably more financially integrated with major countries outside the region than with those within the region. The paper also discusses whether potential benefits of regional financial integration, such as increased risk-sharing and stability of the investor base, have materialized.