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Extracting information from asset prices: The methodology of EMU calculators

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  • Favero, Carlo A.
  • Giavazzi, Francesco
  • Iacone, Fabrizio
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

This paper analyses how to extract market expectations from asset prices, with a particular example: using the term structure of interest rates to estimate the probability the market attaches to the event that a country, Italy, joins the European Monetary Union at a given date. The extraction of such a probability from the term structure is based on the presumption that the term structure contains valuable information regarding the markets' assessment of a country's chances to join the EMU. The case of Italy is interesting because in the survey regularly conducted by Reuters the probability of joining EMU in 1999 fluctuated between 0.07 and 0.15, while, during the same period, the measures of computed by financial houses -- also based on the term structure of interest rates -- have ranged between 0.5 and 0.8. The paper proposes a new method for computing these probabilities, and shows that the discrepancies between survey and market-based measures are not the result of market ine fficiencies, but depend on an incorrect use of the term structure to compute probabilities. The technique proposed in the paper can also be used to distinguish between convergence of probabilities and convergence of fundamentals, that is to find out whether an observed reduction in interest rate spreads signals a higher probability of joining EMU at a given time, or simply reflects improved fundamentals.
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  • Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco & Iacone, Fabrizio & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Extracting information from asset prices: The methodology of EMU calculators," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1607-1632, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:44:y:2000:i:9:p:1607-1632
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    Cited by:

    1. Marchetti, Domenico J. & Nucci, Francesco, 2005. "Price stickiness and the contractionary effect of technology shocks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1137-1163, July.
    2. Viktors Ajevskis & Kristine Vitola, 2010. "A Convergence Model of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(4), pages 727-747.
    3. Fagan, Gabriel & Gaspar, Ví­tor, 2008. "Macroeconomic adjustment to monetary union," Working Paper Series 946, European Central Bank.
    4. Anna Naszódi, 2007. "Are the Exchange Rates of EMU Candidate Countries Anchored by their Expected Euro Locking Rates?," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 115-134.
    5. Wilfling, Bernd, 2009. "Volatility regime-switching in European exchange rates prior to monetary unification," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 240-270, March.
    6. Raphaelle Bellando & Servane Pfister & Jean-Paul Pollin, 2000. "Évolution et déterminants de la crédibilité de l’Union Monétaire Européenne durant la phase de transition : une étude comparative France, Italie et Grande-Bretagne," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 56(1), pages 165-194.
    7. Fagan, Gabriel & Gaspar, Ví­tor, 2007. "Adjusting to the euro," Working Paper Series 716, European Central Bank.
    8. Hallerberg, Mark, 2000. "The importance of domestic political institutions: Why and how Belgium and Italy qualified for EMU," ZEI Working Papers B 10-2000, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    9. Driessen, Joost & Perotti, Enrico C, 2004. "Confidence Building on Euro Conversion: Theory and Evidence from Currency Options," CEPR Discussion Papers 4180, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Juan-Ángel Jiménez-Martín & Rodrigo Peruga Urrea, 2004. "Macroeconomic and policy uncertainty and Exchange rate risk Premium," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 0412, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    11. Livio Stracca, "undated". "Economics and Politics: Interest Rate Convergence in Europe and EMU," Discussion Papers in European Economics 99/6, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
    12. Jiménez-Martín, Juan-Ángel & Cinca, Alfonso Novales, 2010. "State-uncertainty preferences and the risk premium in the exchange rate market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1043-1053, September.
    13. Bernardino Adao & Jorge Barros Luis, 2000. "Interest rate spreads implicit in options: Spain and Italy against Germany," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 155-161.
    14. Favero, Carlo A., 1999. "Financial markets' assessments of EMU : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 271-280, December.
    15. Reher, Gerrit & Wilfling, Bernd, 2014. "The valuation of European call options on zero-coupon bonds in the run-up to a fixed exchange-rate regime," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 483-496.
    16. Juan Ángel Jiménez Martín & Rodrigo Peruga Urrea, 2003. "La Transición al Euro y la Prima de Riesgo en el Mercado de Divisas," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 0306, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    17. Driessen, Joost & Perotti, Enrico, 2011. "Confidence building on Euro convergence: Evidence from currency options," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 474-491, April.
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    19. Bates, David S., 1999. "Financial markets' assessments of EMU," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 229-269, December.
    20. Martin Cincibuch & Matrina Horníková, 2008. "Measuring the Financial Markets’ Perception of EMU Enlargement: The Role of Ambiguity Aversion," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 58(05-06), pages 210-230, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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