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The U.S. Treasury yield curve: 1961 to the present

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  • Refet S. Gürkaynak
  • Brian Sack
  • Jonathan H. Wright

Abstract

The discount function, which determines the value of all future nominal payments, is the most basic building block of finance and is usually inferred from the Treasury yield curve. It is therefore surprising that researchers and practitioners do not have available to them a long history of high-frequency yield curve estimates. This paper fills that void by making public the Treasury yield curve estimates of the Federal Reserve Board at a daily frequency from 1961 to the present. We use a well-known and simple smoothing method that is shown to fit the data very well. The resulting estimates can be used to compute yields or forward rates for any horizon. We hope that the data, which are posted on the website http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2006 and which will be updated periodically, will provide a benchmark yield curve that will be useful to applied economists.

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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2006/200628/200628abs.html
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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2006/200628/200628pap.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2006-28.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2006-28

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Keywords: Treasury bills ; Government securities ; Interest rates;

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References

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  1. Mark Fisher & Douglas Nychka & David Zervos, 1995. "Fitting the term structure of interest rates with smoothing splines," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 173-224.
  3. Duffee, Gregory R, 1996. " Idiosyncratic Variation of Treasury Bill Yields," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 527-51, June.
  4. Daniel F. Waggoner, 1997. "Spline methods for extracting interest rate curves from coupon bond prices," Working Paper 97-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Nelson, Charles R & Siegel, Andrew F, 1987. "Parsimonious Modeling of Yield Curves," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 473-89, October.
  6. Robert R. Bliss, 1996. "Testing term structure estimation methods," Working Paper 96-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Michael J. Fleming, 2000. "The benchmark U.S. Treasury market: recent performance and possible alternatives," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 129-145.
  8. McCulloch, J Huston, 1975. "The Tax-Adjusted Yield Curve," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 811-30, June.
  9. Brian Sack, 2000. "Using Treasury STRIPS to measure the yield curve," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Brian Sack & Robert Elsasser, 2004. "Treasury inflation-indexed debt: a review of the U.S. experience," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 47-63.
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