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Convergence And Anchoring Of Yield Curves In The Euro Area

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  • Refet Gurkaynak

    (Bilkent University)

  • Marcel Fratzscher

    (ECB)

  • Eric Swanson

    (FRB San Francisco)

  • Michael Ehrmann

    (ECB)

Abstract

We study the convergence of European bond markets and the anchoring of inflation expectations in the euro area using high-frequency bond yield data for France, Germany, Italy, and Spain as well as smaller euro area countries and a control group comprising the UK, Denmark, and Sweden. We find that Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has led to substantial convergence in euro area sovereign bond markets in terms of interest rate levels, unconditional daily fluctuations, and conditional responses to major macroeconomic announcements. Our findings also suggest a substantial increase in the anchoring of long-term inflation expectations since EMU, particularly for Italy and Spain, which have seen their long-term interest rates become much lower, much less volatile, and much better anchored in response to news. Finally, we present evidence that the elimination of exchange rate risk and the adoption of a common monetary policy were the primary drivers of bond market convergence in the euro area, as opposed to fiscal policy restraint and the loose exchange rate peg of the 1990s.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 897.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:897

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  1. Linda Goldberg & Deborah Leonard, 2003. "What moves sovereign bond markets? The effects of economic news on U.S. and German yields," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Sep).
  2. Meredith J. Beechey & Benjamin K. Johannsen & Andrew T. Levin, 2008. "Are long-run inflation expectations anchored more firmly in the Euro area than in the United States?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Andersen, Torben G. & Bollerslev, Tim & Diebold, Francis X. & Vega, Clara, 2004. "Real-time price discovery in stock, bond and foreign exchange markets," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/19, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
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  8. Gürkaynak, Refet S. & Levin, Andrew & Swanson, Eric T, 2006. "Does Inflation Targeting Anchor Long-Run Inflation Expectations? Evidence from Long-Term Bond Yields in the US, UK and Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 5808, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
  13. Andersson, Magnus & Hansen, Lars Jul & Sebestyén, Szabolcs, 2006. "Which news moves the euro area bond market?," Working Paper Series 0631, European Central Bank.
  14. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Roberto Rigobon, 2005. "Stocks, Bonds, Money Markets and Exchange Rates: Measuring International Financial Transmission," NBER Working Papers 11166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lorenzo Codogno & Carlo Favero & Alessandro Missale, 2003. "Yield spreads on EMU government bonds," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 503-532, October.
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