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Resolving Macroeconomic Uncertainty in Stock and Bond Markets

  • Alessandro Beber
  • Michael W. Brandt

We establish an empirical link between the ex-ante uncertainty about macroeconomic fundamentals and the ex-post resolution of this uncertainty in financial markets. We measure macroeconomic uncertainty using prices of economic derivatives and relate this measure to changes in implied volatilities of stock and bond options when the economic data is released. We also examine the relationship between our measure of macroeconomic uncertainty and trading activity in stock and bond option markets before and after the announcements. Higher macroeconomic uncertainty is associated with greater reduction in implied volatilities. Higher macroeconomic uncertainty is also associated with increased volume in option markets after the release, consistent with market participants waiting to trade until economic uncertainty is resolved, and with decreased open interest in option markets after the release, consistent with market participants using financial options to hedge macroeconomic uncertainty. The empirical relationships are strongest for long-term bonds and weakest for non-cyclical stocks.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12270.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12270.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Publication status: published as Alessandro Beber & Michael W. Brandt, 2008. "Resolving Macroeconomic Uncertainty in Stock and Bond Markets," Review of Finance, Oxford University Press for European Finance Association, vol. 13(1), pages 1-45.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12270
Note: AP
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  1. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Justin Wolfers, 2005. "Macroeconomic derivatives: an initial analysis of market-based macro forecasts, uncertainty, and risk," Working Paper Series 2005-26, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Andersen, Torben G. & Bollerslev, Tim & Diebold, Francis X. & Vega, Clara, 2004. "Real-time price discovery in stock, bond and foreign exchange markets," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/19, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Michael J. Fleming & Eli M Remolona, 1999. "The term structure of announcement effects," BIS Working Papers 71, Bank for International Settlements.
  4. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Clara Vega, 2002. "Micro Effects of Macro Announcements: Real-Time Price Discovery in Foreign Exchange?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-23, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Beber, Alessandro & Brandt, Michael W., 2006. "The effect of macroeconomic news on beliefs and preferences: Evidence from the options market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1997-2039, November.
  6. Andrea Buraschi & Alexei Jiltsov, 2006. "Model Uncertainty and Option Markets with Heterogeneous Beliefs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2841-2897, December.
  7. Zarnowitz, Victor & Lambros, Louis A, 1987. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 591-621, June.
  8. Victor Zarnowitz & Louis A. Lambros, 1983. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," NBER Working Papers 1171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mark J. Flannery & Aris A. Protopapadakis, 2002. "Macroeconomic Factors Do Influence Aggregate Stock Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 751-782.
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