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Market-based measures of monetary policy expectations

  • Refet S. Gürkaynak
  • Brian P. Sack
  • Eric T. Swanson

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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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2002-40.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2002-40
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Piazzesi, Monika & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 677-691, May.
  4. 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.).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Improving forecasts of the federal funds rate in a policy model," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 99-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. 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.
  10. Chris Downing & Stephen D. Oliner, 2004. "The term structure of commercial paper rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. 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.
  12. William Poole & Robert H. Rasche, 2000. "Perfecting the market's knowledge of monetary policy," Working Papers 2000-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  13. 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.
  14. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Predicting monetary policy using federal funds future prices," Working Paper Series 85, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  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. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Jon Faust & Eric T. Swanson & 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.).
  24. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "Bayesian methods for dynamic multivariate models," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  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. 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.
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