Office of the Chief Economist

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is to conduct rigorous economic and econometric analysis of derivatives markets; to foster market transparency by disseminating its research to market participants and the general public; and to partner with other CFTC divisions and offices to integrate economic reasoning and data analysis into Commission policy and cost-benefit considerations.

A list of the current members of the Office of the Chief Economists can be found on our Biographies page, which includes backgrounds as well as research interests. The office is led by Bruce Tuckman (Chief Economist) and Scott Mixon (Supervisory Economist).

Featured Research

The Liquidity Hierarchy in the U.S. Treasury Market: Summary Statistics from CBOT Futures and TRACE Bond Data (Lee Baker, Lihong McPhail, and Bruce Tuckman)

  • The note combines the relatively new source of data on cash transactions from FINRA with futures transactions data available at the CFTC to describe a “liquidity hierarchy” in the U.S. Treasury market.
  • The analysis shows that while overall risk volume is greater across all cash securities than across all futures contracts, the liquidity hierarchy is more complex, with certain futures contracts more liquid than certain cash securities, and vice versa.
  • Futures contracts play a special role in liquidity-challenged environments. The relative amount of risk traded through futures contracts is higher on days with large price movements and is larger at times outside of U.S. trading hours.
  • Average trade size, in risk terms, is much higher for cash securities than for futures contracts. This is most likely due to the higher prevalence of automated trading in futures markets, which, in turn, results in futures trades being broken down into smaller orders for execution.

For older research projects, please visit our Research Papers website.

Information on Academic Collaboration

The Office of the Chief Economist frequently collaborates with academics on research projects focused on financial markets. Often, these projects will make use of one or more of the data sets the agency receives as part of its program of regulatory oversight and monitoring. Many papers have resulted in publications in prominent academic journals. A selection of papers from these collaborations can be found on our Research Papers page.