April 2012

Inflation Risk Premium: Evidence from the TIPS market

Olesya V. Grishchenko and Jing-zhi Huang


"Inflation-indexed securities would appear to be the most direct source of information about inflation expectations and real interest rates" (Bernanke, 2004). In this paper we study the term structure of real interest rates, expected inflation and inflation risk premia using data on prices of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) over the period 2000-2008. The approach we use to estimate inflation risk premium is arbitrage free, largely model free, and easy to implement. We also make distinction between TIPS yields and real yields and take into account explicitly the three-month indexation lag of TIPS in the analysis. In addition, we propose a new liquidity measure based on TIPS prices. Accounting for it, we find that the inflation risk premium is time-varying: it is negative (positive) in the first (second) half of the sample period. The average 10-year inflation risk premium ranges from -16 to 10 basis points over the full sample depending on the proxy used for expected inflation. More specifically, the estimates of the 10-year inflation risk premium range between 14 and 19 basis points for 2004-2008 period.

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Keywords: TIPS market, expected inflation, inflation risk premium, term structure of real rates, TIPS liquidity

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Last Update: July 10, 2020