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The identification of the response of interest rates to monetary policy actions using market-based measures of monetary policy shocks

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  • Daniel L. Thornton

Abstract

It is common practice to estimate the response of asset prices to monetary policy actions using market-based measures of monetary policy shocks, such as the federal funds futures rate. I show that because interest rates and market-based measures of monetary policy shocks respond simultaneously to all news and not simply news about monetary policy actions, market-based measures of monetary policy shocks yield biased estimates of the response of interest rates to monetary policy actions. I propose a methodology that corrects for this "joint-response bias." The results indicate that the response of Treasury yields to monetary policy actions is considerably weaker than previously estimated. In particular, there is no statistically significant response of longer-term Treasury yields before February 2000 and no statistically significant response of any Treasury rate after.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2009-037.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2009-037

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Keywords: Prices ; Monetary policy ; Federal funds rate;

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  1. Refet Gurkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," Macroeconomics 0504013, EconWPA.
  2. Monika Piazzesi & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2006-23, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Daniel L. Thornton, 2005. "When did the FOMC begin targeting the federal funds rate? what the verbatim transcripts tell us," Working Papers 2004-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian T. & Swanson, Eric P., 2007. "Market-Based Measures of Monetary Policy Expectations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 201-212, April.
  5. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2005. "What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1221-1257, 06.
  6. Faust, Jon & Swanson, Eric T. & Wright, Jonathan H., 2004. "Identifying VARS based on high frequency futures data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1107-1131, September.
  7. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
  8. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1996. "Do measures of monetary policy in a VAR make sense?," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Monika Piazzesi, 2002. "The Fed and Interest Rates - A High-Frequency Identification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 90-95, May.
  10. William Poole & Robert H. Rasche, 2000. "Perfecting the market's knowledge of monetary policy," Working Papers 2000-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  11. Thornton, Daniel L., 2004. "The Fed and short-term rates: Is it open market operations, open mouth operations or interest rate smoothing?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 475-498, March.
  12. Cook, Timothy & Hahn, Thomas, 1989. "The effect of changes in the federal funds rate target on market interest rates in the 1970s," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 331-351, November.
  13. Bomfim, Antulio N., 2003. "Pre-announcement effects, news effects, and volatility: Monetary policy and the stock market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 133-151, January.
  14. Daniel L. Thornton, 2008. "The unusual behavior of the federal funds and 10-year Treasury rates: a conundrum or Goodhart’s Law?," Working Papers 2007-039, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  15. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2002. "The impact of monetary policy on asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2000. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: evidence from the Fed funds futures markets," Staff Reports 99, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  17. Michael J. Fleming & Eli M. Remolona, 1999. "Price Formation and Liquidity in the U.S. Treasury Market: The Response to Public Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1901-1915, October.
  18. Daniel L. Thornton, 2006. ""Measured pace" in the conduct of monetary policy," Monetary Trends, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar.
  19. Leonardo Bartolini & Linda Goldberg & Adam Sacarny, 2008. "How economic news moves markets," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 14(Aug).
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Cited by:
  1. repec:use:tkiwps:1205 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Liebermann, Joelle, 2011. "The Impact of Macroeconomic News on Bond Yields: (In)Stabilities over Time and Relative Importance," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/11, Central Bank of Ireland.

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