European Financial Integration and Equity Returns: A Theory-Based Assessment
This paper reassesses, at the light of economic and financial theory, the well-documented recent evolution of the euro area public debt and equity markets. Doing so leads to associating the EMU and the single market with the changes in fundamentals and financial integration with convergence in pricing. For the public debt market, we stress the observation, conform with predictions, that risk free interest rates are now less volatile in the euro area. But also the fact that the establishment of a single public debt market is still not completed. The current fragmentation is costly to Treasuries and taxpayers and understanding its cause is important to evaluate the prospects of currently considered measures of financial integration.
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