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Market-Based Measures of Monetary Policy Expectations

  • Gurkaynak, Refet S.
  • Sack, Brian T.
  • Swanson, Eric P.

A number of recent papers have used short-maturity financial instruments to measure expectations of the future course of monetary policy, and have used high-frequency changes in these instruments around FOMC dates to measure monetary policy shocks. This paper evaluates the empirical success of a variety of market instruments in predicting the future path of monetary policy. We find that federal funds futures dominate other market-based measures of monetary policy expectations at horizons out several months. For longer horizons, the predictive power of many of the instruments considered is very similar. In addition, we present evidence that monetary policy shocks computed using the current-month federal funds futures contract are influenced by changes in the timing of policy actions that do not influence the expected course of policy beyond a horizon of about six weeks. We propose alternative shock measures that capture changes in market expectations of policy over slightly longer horizons.

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Article provided by American Statistical Association in its journal Journal of Business and Economic Statistics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2007)
Issue (Month): (April)
Pages: 201-212

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Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:25:y:2007:p:201-212
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  1. Robertson, John C & Tallman, Ellis W, 2001. "Improving Federal-Funds Rate Forecasts in VAR Models Used for Policy Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 324-30, July.
  2. Monika Piazzesi & Eric Swanson, 2004. "Future prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  3. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 907-31, November.
  4. Downing, Chris & Oliner, Stephen, 2007. "The term structure of commercial paper rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 59-86, January.
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  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. Joel T. Krueger & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1995. "The Fed funds futures rate as a predictor of Federal Reserve policy," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Real-time Taylor rules and the federal funds futures market," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 44-55.
  9. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
  10. Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2005. "Using federal funds futures contracts for monetary policy analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Tore Ellingsen & Ulf Soderstrom, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Market Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1594-1607, December.
  12. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2002. "Market-based measures of monetary policy expectations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2004. "What explains the stock market's reaction to Federal Reserve policy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  15. Lange, Joe & Sack, Brian & Whitesell, William, 2003. " Anticipations of Monetary Policy in Financial Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 889-909, December.
  16. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
  18. John B. Carlson & Jean M. McIntire & James B. Thomson, 1995. "Federal funds futures as an indicator of future monetary policy: a primer," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 20-30.
  19. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2002. "The Fed and Interest Rates: A High-Frequency Identification," NBER Working Papers 8839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Predicting monetary policy using federal funds future prices," Working Paper Series 85, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  21. Clemon, Robert T & Winkler, Robert L, 1986. "Combining Economic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 39-46, January.
  22. Sims, Christopher A & Zha, Tao, 1998. "Bayesian Methods for Dynamic Multivariate Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 949-68, November.
  23. John C. Robertson & Daniel L. Thornton, 1997. "Using federal funds futures rates to predict Federal Reserve actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 45-53.
  24. Brunner, Allan D, 2000. "On the Derivation of Monetary Policy Shocks: Should We Throw the VAR Out with the Bath Water?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 254-79, May.
  25. 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.
  26. William Poole & Robert Rasche, 2000. "Perfecting the Market's Knowledge of Monetary Policy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 255-298, December.
  27. Joel T. Krueger & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "The Fed funds futures rate as a predictor of federal reserve policy," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(8), pages 865-879, December.
  28. Brian Sack, 2004. "Extracting the Expected Path of Monetary Policy From Futures Rates," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(8), pages 733-754, 08.
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