Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #600

Did Quantitative Easing Affect Interest Rates Outside the US? – New Evidence Based on Interest Rate Differentials

by Ansgar Belke, Daniel Gros and Thomas Osowski

UDE, 01/2016, 38 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-696-3 DOI: 10.4419/86788696



This paper explores the effects of non-standard monetary policies on international yield relationships. Based on a descriptive analysis of international long-term yields, we find evidence that long-term rates have followed a global downward trend prior to as well as during the financial crisis. Comparing interest rate developments in the United States and the Eurozone, it appears difficult to find a distinct impact of the Fed’s QE1 on US interest rates for which the global environment – the global downward trend in interest rates – does not account. Motivated by these results, we analyze the impact of the Fed’s QE1 program on the stability of the US-Euro long-term interest rate relationship by using a CVAR and, in particular, recursive estimation methods. Using data between 2002 and 2014, we find limited evidence that QE1 caused a breakup or a destabilization of the transatlantic interest rate relationship. Taking global interest rate developments into account, we thus find no significant evidence that QE had an independent, distinct impact on US interest rates.

JEL-Classification: C32, E43, E44, E58

Keywords: Quantitative easing; unconventional monetary policies; time series econometrics; Cointegrated VAR (CVAR); recursive methods