This article analyzes the phenomenon of financial integration on both the theoretical and empirical levels, focusing primarily on assessing the impacts of the current financial crisis. In the theoretical section we first look at the definition of financial integration and summarize the benefits and costs associated with this process. We go on to examine the relationship between financial integration and financial instability, emphasizing the priority role of financial innovation. The subsequent empirical section provides an analysis of the speed and level of integration of the Czech financial market and the markets of selected inflation-targeting Central European economies (Hungary and Poland) and advanced Western European economies (Sweden and the United Kingdom) with the euro area. The results for the Czech Republic reveal that a process of increasing financial integration has been going on steadily since the end of the 1990s and also that the financial crisis caused only temporary price divergence of the Czech financial market from the euro area market.
JEL codes: C23, G12, G15
Keywords: Beta-convergence, financial crisis, financial integration, gamma-convergence, new EU Member States, propagation of shocks, sigma-convergence
Issued: December 2010
Published as: Babecký, J., Komárek, L., Komárková, Z. (2013): Financial Integration at Times of Financial Instability, Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a úvěr), 63(1), pp. 25–45.