Try just typing:
on the command line and you will see you get the same error. It isn't a function handle-related problem, just the usual problem with mis-matched dimensions. You should be able to use bsxfun to achieve the result you want, depending what you expect the result of that operation to be.
bsxfun( @power, y, (2:-1:0)' )
should work I think in your f = @(y) function