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Using implied volatility to measure uncertainty about interest rates

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  • Christopher J. Neely

Abstract

Option prices can be used to infer the level of uncertainty about future asset prices. The first two parts of this article explain such measures (implied volatility) and how they can differ from the market's true expectation of uncertainty. The third then estimates the implied volatility of three-month eurodollar interest rates from 1985 to 2001 and evaluates its ability to predict realized volatility. Implied volatility shows that uncertainty about short-term interest rates has been falling for almost 20 years, as the levels of interest rates and inflation have fallen. And changes in implied volatility are usually coincident with major news about the stock market, the real economy, and monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher J. Neely, 2005. "Using implied volatility to measure uncertainty about interest rates," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 407-425.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2005:i:may:p:407-425:n:v.87no.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1972. "The Valuation of Option Contracts and a Test of Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 27(2), pages 399-417, May.
    2. Barone-Adesi, Giovanni & Whaley, Robert E, 1987. " Efficient Analytic Approximation of American Option Values," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 301-320, June.
    3. Andrew Ang & Robert J. Hodrick & Yuhang Xing & Xiaoyan Zhang, 2006. "The Cross-Section of Volatility and Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 259-299, February.
    4. Beckers, Stan, 1981. "Standard deviations implied in option prices as predictors of future stock price variability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 363-381, September.
    5. Torben G. Andersen & Luca Benzoni, 2009. "Stochastic volatility," Working Paper Series WP-09-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Black, Fischer, 1976. "The pricing of commodity contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 167-179.
    7. Bates, David S., 2003. "Empirical option pricing: a retrospection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1-2), pages 387-404.
    8. Bates, David S., 2000. "Post-'87 crash fears in the S&P 500 futures option market," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 181-238.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:empfin:v:43:y:2017:i:c:p:43-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Christopher J. Neely, 2005. "An analysis of recent studies of the effect of foreign exchange intervention," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 685-718.
    3. Deniz Erdemlioglu & S├ębastien Laurent & Christopher J. Neely, 2013. "Econometric modeling of exchange rate volatility and jumps," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Empirical Finance, chapter 16, pages 373-427 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Christopher J. Neely, 2011. "A survey of announcement effects on foreign exchange volatility and jumps," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 361-385.
    5. William R. Emmons & Aeimit K. Lakdawala & Christopher J. Neely, 2006. "What are the odds? option-based forecasts of FOMC target changes," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 543-562.
    6. Chan, Kam Fong & Bowman, Robert G. & Neely, Christopher J., 2017. "Systematic cojumps, market component portfolios and scheduled macroeconomic announcements," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, pages 43-58.
    7. Marion Kohler, 2010. "Exchange rates during financial crises," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    8. Sauter, Oliver, 2012. "Assessing uncertainty in Europe and the US: is there a common uncertainty factor?," MPRA Paper 38031, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Bo Young Chang & Bruno Feunou, 2013. "Measuring Uncertainty in Monetary Policy Using Implied Volatility and Realized Volatility," Staff Working Papers 13-37, Bank of Canada.

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    Keywords

    Prices ; Monetary policy ; Interest rates;

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