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US presidential elections and implied volatility: The role of political uncertainty

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  • Goodell, John W.
  • Vähämaa, Sami

Abstract

This paper focuses on the effects of political uncertainty and the political process on implied stock market volatility during US presidential election cycles. Using monthly Iowa Electronic Markets data over five elections, we document that stock market uncertainty, as measured by the VIX volatility index, increases along with positive changes in the probability of success of the eventual winner. The association between implied volatility and the election probability of the eventual winner is positive even after controlling for changes in overall election uncertainty. These findings indicate that the presidential election process engenders market anxiety as investors form and revise their expectations regarding future macroeconomic policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodell, John W. & Vähämaa, Sami, 2013. "US presidential elections and implied volatility: The role of political uncertainty," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1108-1117.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:37:y:2013:i:3:p:1108-1117 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2012.12.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Jamal Bouoiyour & Refk Selmi, 2016. "The Price of Political Uncertainty: Evidence from the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and the U.S. Stock Markets," Papers 1612.06200, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2017.
    2. Carvalho, Augusto & Guimarães, Bernardo, 2016. "State-controlled companies and political risk: evidence from the 2014 Brazilian election," Textos para discussão 435, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    3. Tammuz Alraheb & Amine Tarazi, 2016. "Local Versus International Crises, Foreign Subsidiaries and Bank Stability: Evidence from the MENA Region," Working Papers 1045, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 Jan 2016.
    4. repec:eee:jfinec:v:124:y:2017:i:3:p:563-579 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Tamir Levy & Joseph Yagil, 2015. "The 2012 US Presidential Election Polls And Stock Returns," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 5(2), pages 66-74, December.
    6. Agapova, Anna & Madura, Jeff, 2016. "Market uncertainty and earnings guidance," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 97-111.
    7. Bryan Kelly & Ľuboš Pástor & Pietro Veronesi, 2016. "The Price of Political Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence from the Option Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(5), pages 2417-2480, October.
    8. Walid M. A. Ahmed, 2014. "Dynamic interactions between Egyptian equity and currency markets prior to and during political unrest," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(20), pages 1347-1359, October.
    9. Smales, Lee A., 2014. "Political uncertainty and financial market uncertainty in an Australian context," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 415-435.
    10. Julia Darby & Graeme Roy, 2017. "Political uncertainty and stock market volatility: new evidence from the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum," Working Papers 1706, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    11. Goodell, John W. & McGroarty, Frank & Urquhart, Andrew, 2015. "Political uncertainty and the 2012 US presidential election: A cointegration study of prediction markets, polls and a stand-out expert," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 162-171.
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    16. Smales, Lee A., 2015. "Better the devil you know: The influence of political incumbency on Australian financial market uncertainty," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 59-74.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Presidential elections; Political uncertainty; Implied volatility; VIX;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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