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Structural breaks in the lending interest rate pass-through and the euro

  • Marotta, Giuseppe

This paper investigates whether size and speed of the pass-through of market rates into short term business lending rates have increased in the wake of the introduction of the euro. Allowing for multiple unknown structural breaks we find two in four EMU countries, and in the UK as well, and a single one in five other countries. The pattern of dates fits national banking systems adjusting slowly to the new monetary regime and suggests caution in associating structural changes to the introduction of the euro. The estimated equilibrium pass-through in the last break-free period is on average more incomplete, hinting at a reduced effectiveness of the single monetary policy. This results runs against the economic intuition that a reduced volatility in money market rates is bound to mitigate uncertainty and to ease therefore the transfer of policy rate changes to retail rates; the run up to Basel 2 and a deterioration of competition in loan markets could be the motivations. Caution in extrapolating to more recent periods these findings is suggested by the differences between the unharmonized and the new harmonized retail rates.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 26 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 191-205

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:26:y:2009:i:1:p:191-205
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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