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Joseph P Byrne, Giorgio Fazio and Norbert Fiess
''Domestic vs. International Correlations of Interest Rate Maturities''
( 2010, Vol. 30 No.2 )
The association between long and short interest rates is traditionally envisaged from a purely domestic perspective, where it is believed an empirical regularity. Hence, the weakening of this relationship in the first half of the 2000s has represented a conundrum, calling for a reassessment of the term structure and the conduct of monetary policy. Some commentators have called for investigations into the international dimension of this puzzle. Hence, in this paper we employ recent advances in panel data econometrics to investigate the co-movement of interest rate maturities both at the domestic and international levels for a sample of industrial countries. Specifically, we use the Ng (2006) spacings correlations approach to examine interest rates correlations between and within countries. Compared to alternatives, this method does not just estimate bivariate correlations, but also assesses the degree of panel correlation without being restricted by the assumption of either zero or complete panel correlation. We find very small correlations between the different maturities of domestic rates and much higher correlations of international rates. Moreover, international correlations between long rates are significantly higher than those between short rates. These findings suggest a scenario for national monetary policy, where financial globalization may have changed the transmission mechanism, advocating searches for the “missing” yield curve in its international dimension.
Keywords: Financial globalization, yield spread, interest rates, spacings correlations
JEL: E4 - Money and Interest Rates: General
F3 - International Finance: General
Manuscript Received : Apr 08 2010 Manuscript Accepted : Apr 22 2010

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