Following the subprime crisis, most of the European central banks implemented several unconventional monetary instruments. As a result of the late quantitative easing, there was a shift from stimulating lending to the immediate stimulation of the securities market in the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) and of the smaller central banks, too. These securities purchase programs, first and second-market transactions, and asset purchases have led to an increase in the stock of securities held by the central banks, whose spill-over effects have not been fully explored yet. The aim of our research is to identify the spill-over effects of the central banks’ unconventional instruments and quantitative easing on currency volatility while considering the relative size of the issuing central bank and the situation of small open economies. By running an adapted version of gravity models, we analyzed a sample of six European central banks and the ECB. Based on our results, the high volatility levels of European currencies around the eurozone have come from their relative smallness and unconventional monetary policy, and considerations about safe havens have a reducing power on F X volatility.
The transmission mechanism has been dominated by direct monetary measures since the crisis of 2008. While the indirect impacts of the unconventional monetary instruments have not been fully explored yet. Monetary policy and funding conditions determine pricing sentiments for bond, stock and currency markets, represented by the volatilities of their main indicators: stock market indices, exchange rates, and yield premia. Our theoretical model takes spillover effects into account when it determines the variables which are responsible for volatility: the activities of international financial institutions (like the ESM or the IMF) are represented by dummy variables, while the limited autonomy in the shadow of the ECB is captured through gravity-like approaches. Six EU member states outside the Eurozone and Switzerland were analysed between 2007 and 2019 with random effect panel regression models to identify the differences in the impact of spillover effects on capital market volatilities. The results obtained are considered to be useful in mapping the potential effects of continuing monetary easing in the near future.