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The economics of options-implied inflation probability density functions

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  • Kitsul, Yuriy
  • Wright, Jonathan H.

Abstract

Recently a market in options based on consumer price index inflation (inflation caps and floors) has emerged in the US. This paper uses quotes on these derivatives to construct probability densities for inflation. We study how these probability density functions respond to news announcements and find that the implied odds of deflation are sensitive to certain macroeconomic news releases. We also estimate empirical pricing kernels using these option prices along with time series models fitted to inflation. The options-implied densities assign considerably more mass to extreme inflation outcomes (either deflation or high inflation) than do their time series counterparts. This yields a U-shaped empirical pricing kernel, with investors having high marginal utility in states of the world characterized by either deflation or high inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Kitsul, Yuriy & Wright, Jonathan H., 2013. "The economics of options-implied inflation probability density functions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 696-711.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:110:y:2013:i:3:p:696-711
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2013.08.013
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation; Floors and caps; Derivatives; Forward martingale measure; Physical measure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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