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Estimates of the term premium on near-dated federal funds futures contracts

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  • J. Benson Durham

Abstract

This paper examines estimates of the term premium on federal funds futures rates, with a focus on near-dated contracts and therefore the more immediate policy horizon. The first set of methods assumes that the term premium is constant over time. Under this framework, calculations that use survey data to proxy for forecast errors produce more intuitive results than estimates based on the restrictive assumption that forecast errors average to zero over the sample. The second set of methods allows the term premium to vary over time, but the results based on the term structure of near-dated federal funds futures contracts are highly volatile, which perhaps reflects numerous technical factors in the underlying federal funds market. Finally, under an asset-pricing approach, the CAPM suggests that the risk premium on federal funds futures is either less than or equal to zero, while APT indicates that it can be positive.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Benson Durham, 2003. "Estimates of the term premium on near-dated federal funds futures contracts," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeff Moore & Richard Austin, 2002. "The behavior of federal funds futures prices over the monetary policy cycle," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 45-61.
    2. Jensen, Gerald R. & Mercer, Jeffrey M. & Johnson, Robert R., 1996. "Business conditions, monetary policy, and expected security returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 213-237, February.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Antulio N. Bomfim, 2003. "Monetary policy and the yield curve," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Chen, Nai-Fu & Roll, Richard & Ross, Stephen A, 1986. "Economic Forces and the Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 383-403, July.
    7. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
    8. William Poole & Robert Rasche, 2000. "Perfecting the Market's Knowledge of Monetary Policy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 18(2), pages 255-298, December.
    9. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, September.
    10. 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, April.
    11. Black, Fischer, 1972. "Capital Market Equilibrium with Restricted Borrowing," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(3), pages 444-455, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Ferrero & Andrea Nobili, 2009. "Futures Contract Rates as Monetary Policy Forecasts," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 5(2), pages 109-145, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Kjellberg, David, 2006. "Measuring Expectations," Working Paper Series 2006:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Coffinet, J., 2008. "La prévision des taux d’intérêt à partir de contrats futures : l’apport de variables économiques et financières," Working papers 193, Banque de France.
    5. 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.).
    6. Brent Bundick, 2007. "Do federal funds futures need adjustment for excess returns? a state-dependent approach," Research Working Paper RWP 07-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

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    Keywords

    Federal funds rate;

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