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Market-based measures of monetary policy expectations

  • Refet S. Gürkaynak
  • Brian Sack
  • Eric Swanson

A number of recent papers have used different financial market instruments to measure near-term expectations of the federal funds rate and the high-frequency changes in these instruments around FOMC announcements to measure monetary policy shocks. This paper evaluates the empirical success of a variety of financial market instruments in predicting the future path of monetary policy. All of the instruments we consider provide forecasts that are clearly superior to those of standard time series models at all of the horizons considered. Among financial market instruments, we find that federal funds futures dominate all the other securities in forecasting monetary policy at horizons out to six months. For longer horizons, the predictive power of many of the instruments we consider 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 an alternative shock measure that captures changes in market expectations of policy over slightly longer horizons.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006-04.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2006-04
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  1. 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.
  2. Ulf Söderström, 2001. "Predicting monetary policy with federal funds futures prices," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 377-391, 04.
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  4. Monika Piazzesi & Eric Swanson, 2004. "Futures Prices as Risk-adjusted Forecasts of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. 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.
  7. 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.).
  8. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Jon Faust & Eric Swanson & and Jonathan H. Wright, 2002. "Identifying vars based on high frequency futures data," International Finance Discussion Papers 720, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Improving forecasts of the federal funds rate in a policy model," Working Paper 99-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  16. Rigobon, Roberto & Sack, Brian, 2004. "The impact of monetary policy on asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1553-1575, November.
  17. 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.
  18. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring monetary policy," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  19. 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.
  20. Ellingsen, Tore & Söderström, Ulf, 1998. "Monetary Policy and Market Interest Rates," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 242, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 08 Mar 1999.
  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. 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.
  23. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Predicting monetary policy using federal funds futures prices," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 307, Stockholm School of Economics.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.).
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