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One of the most relevant events of the last decades has been the fast integration of international financial markets. As most restrictions to cross-border asset trade were removed, the volume of activity in international financial markets increased dramatically, and so did the cross-country flows of resources due to external borrowing and portfolio returns. Many of the macroeconomic consequences of these stronger financial linkages still have to be fully evaluated. This paper investigates two facets of the strengthening of cross-border financial linkages. First, have developments in international financial markets raised global insurance against national income fluctuations? Second, what would be the macroeconomic effects of changes in the portfolio preferences of big international investors?
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