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Looking at the swap curve construction here:

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/wp00-17.pdf

it seems to be constructed in an identical fashion as the yield curve as described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yield_curve#Construction_of_the_full_yield_curve_from_market_data

So are the terms "swap curve" and "yield curve" interchangeable?

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    $\begingroup$ Not necessarily. Yield curves derived from US Treasuries also exist, along with yield curves derived from swaps. And the term yield curve is quite broad incorporating various methods of representing the curve, various choices of instruments, etc. A system like Bloomberg has literally a dozen ways to draw a yield curve, one of which is called the "US swap curve". $\endgroup$ – Alex C Sep 19 '17 at 1:59
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The concept is different, but in efficient and liquid markets, they could be the same thing. Essentially, you're asking what the "time value of money" is. There are many different instruments whose value is based off of said value - bonds, interest rate futures, interest rate swaps, etc. Therefore, in theory, if you wanted to build a curve that represents the time value of money over time, you could use the implied rates from all of the different sources to form a single curve.

However, as mentioned before by Alex C, there are lots of different curves due to differences in liquidity and some minor market inefficiencies.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why does the "swap" curve construction in the referenced link in the question also consist of rates from other products? I thought the swap curve should only consist of swap rates. $\endgroup$ – user9081230912390 Sep 21 '17 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps a way of describing the difference is to say that the swap curve is like a firetruck and the yield curve is like a truck. The firetruck is constructed with very particular specifications, but essentially, like any other truck, is designed to bring things from point A to point B. Your goal is to figure out the time value of money. When I was creating volatility surfaces and needed to get the yield curve over long periods, I constructed the yield curve using treasury rates, IR future rates, and swap rates since different products are more liquid than others at certain maturities. $\endgroup$ – John Wood Oct 11 '17 at 14:00
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Actually No,

Yield curve is simply market consensus interest rates for specific maturities. It can be build using similar government bonds, LIBOR rates, SWAP rates etc.

So swap curve is one type of yield curves.

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