Realized volatility forecasting and option pricing
A growing literature advocates the use of microstructure noise-contaminated high-frequency data for the purpose of volatility estimation. This paper evaluates and compares the quality of several recently-proposed estimators in the context of a relevant economic metric, i.e.,Â profits from option pricing and trading. Using forecasts obtained by virtue of alternative volatility estimates, agents price short-term options on the S&P 500 index before trading with each other at average prices. The agents' average profits and the Sharpe ratios of the profits constitute the criteria used to evaluate alternative volatility estimates and the corresponding forecasts. For our data, we find that estimators with superior finite sample Mean-squared-error properties generate higher average profits and higher Sharpe ratios, in general. We confirm that, even from a forecasting standpoint, there is scope for optimizing the finite sample properties of alternative volatility estimators as advocated by Bandi and Russell [Bandi, F.M., Russell, J.R., 2005. Market microstructure noise, integrated variance estimators, and the accuracy of asymptotic approximations. Working Paper; Bandi, F.M., Russell, J.R., 2008b. Microstructure noise, realized variance, and optimal sampling. Review of Economic Studies 75, 339-369] in recent work.
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