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TIPS scorecard: are TIPS accomplishing what they were supposed to accomplish?: can they be improved?

  • Michelle L. Barnes
  • Zvi Bodie
  • Robert K. Triest
  • J. Christina Wang

In September 1997, the U.S. Treasury developed the TIPS market in order to achieve three important policy objectives: (1) to provide consumers with a class of assets that allows for hedging against real interest rate risk, (2) to provide holders of nominal contracts a means of hedging against inflation risk, and (3) to provide everyone with a reliable indicator of the term structure of expected inflation. This paper evaluates progress toward the achievement of these objectives and analyzes prospective ways to better meet these objectives in the future, by, for example, extending the maturity of TIPS and/or the use of inflation indexes suited to particular geographic regions or demographics. We conclude by arguing that while it is tempting to consider completing markets by introducing more TIPS-like securities indexed to inflation rates more tailored to particular demographics, our analysis suggests that TIPS indexed to CPI do, in fact, facilitate good synthetic hedges against unexpected changes in inflation for many different investors, since the various inflation measures are very highly correlated. We do, however, argue for extending the maturity of TIPS.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Public Policy Discussion Paper with number 09-8.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbpp:09-8
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  1. Richard W. Kopcke & Ralph C. Kimball, 1999. "Inflation-indexed bonds: the dog that didn't bark," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 3-24.
  2. Jennifer Roush & William Dudley & Michelle Steinberg Ezer, 2008. "The case for TIPS: an examination of the costs and benefits," Staff Reports 353, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Robert J. Gordon, 2006. "The Boskin Commission Report: A Retrospective One Decade Later," NBER Working Papers 12311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. W. Erwin Diewert, 1998. "Index Number Issues in the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 47-58, Winter.
  5. Dean Croushore, 1997. "The Livingston Survey: still useful after all these years," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Mar, pages 15-27.
  6. Refet S. G├╝rkaynak & Brian Sack & Jonathan H. Wright, 2008. "The TIPS yield curve and inflation compensation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. David E. Lebow & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2003. "Measurement Error in the Consumer Price Index: Where Do We Stand?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 159-201, March.
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