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Sources of variation in holding returns for fed funds futures contracts


  • We are grateful to Michael Bauer, Brent Bundick, Eric Swanson, and an anonymous referee for comments on an earlier draft. Okimoto thanks the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research Abroad for financial support.


This study relates predictable gains from positions in fed funds futures contracts to violations of the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates. Although evidence for predictable gains from positions in short-horizon contracts is mixed, we find that gains in longer horizon contracts can be well described using Markov-switching models, with predictability associated with particular episodes in which economic activity was weak and variability in the returns to these contracts was quite high. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 31:205–229, 2011