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Interest Rate Pass-Through: Empirical Results for the Euro Area

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  • Bondt Gabe J. de

    (European Central Bank, Frankfurt, Germany)

Abstract

This paper empirically examines the interest rate pass-through at the euro area level. The focus is on the pass-through of official interest rates, approximated by the overnight interest rate, to longer-term market interest rates, which, in turn, are a proxy for the marginal costs for banks to attract deposits or grant loans, and therefore passed through to retail bank interest rates. Empirical results, on the basis of a (vector) error-correction and vector autoregressive model, suggest that the pass-through of official interest to market interest rates is complete for money market interest rates up to three months, but not for market interest rates with longer maturities. Furthermore, the immediate pass-through of changes in market interest rates to bank deposit and lending rates is found to be at most 50%, whereas the final pass-through is typically found to be close to 100%, in particular for lending rates. Empirical results for a sub-sample starting in January 1999 show qualitatively similar findings and are supportive of a quicker interest rate pass-through since the introduction of the euro. It is shown that the difference between the adjustment speed of bank deposit and lending rates (typically around one versus three months since the common monetary policy) can to a large extent significantly be explained by credit risk considerations.

Suggested Citation

  • Bondt Gabe J. de, 2005. "Interest Rate Pass-Through: Empirical Results for the Euro Area," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 37-78, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:germec:v:6:y:2005:i:1:p:37-78
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-6485.2005.00121.x
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