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The Economics of Options-Implied Inflation Probability Density Functions


  • Yuriy Kitsul
  • Jonathan H. Wright


Recently a market in options based on CPI 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 pdfs respond to news announcements, and find that the implied odds of deflation are sensitive to certain macroeconomic news releases. We compare the option-implied probability densities with those obtained by time series methods, and use this information to construct empirical pricing kernels. 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

  • Yuriy Kitsul & Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "The Economics of Options-Implied Inflation Probability Density Functions," NBER Working Papers 18195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18195
    Note: ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Matthias Fleckenstein & Francis A. Longstaff & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "Why Does the Treasury Issue Tips? The Tips-Treasury Bond Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 16358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ray C. Fair, 2002. "Events That Shook the Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(4), pages 713-732, October.
    3. Yasuhiro Omori & Siddhartha Chib & Neil Shephard & Jouchi Nakajima, 2004. "Stochastic volatility with leverage: fast likelihood inference," Economics Papers 2004-W19, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    4. Jonathan H. Wright, 2011. "What does Monetary Policy do to Long-Term Interest Rates at the Zero Lower Bound?," NBER Working Papers 17154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Carolin E. Pflueger & Luis M. Viceira, 2011. "Inflation-Indexed Bonds and the Expectations Hypothesis," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 139-158, December.
    6. Olesya V. Grishchenko & Joel M. Vanden & Jianing Zhang, 2011. "The information content of the embedded deflation pption in TIPS," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-58, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Olesya V. Grishchenko & Jing-zhi Huang, 2012. "Inflation risk premium: evidence from the TIPS market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
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    Cited by:

    1. GoliƄski, Adam & Zaffaroni, Paolo, 2016. "Long memory affine term structure models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 191(1), pages 33-56.
    2. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:440-457 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Datta, Deepa Dhume & Londono, Juan M. & Ross, Landon J, 2014. "Generating Options-Implied Probability Densities to Understand Oil Market Events," International Finance Discussion Papers 1122, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2013. "Forecasting Inflation," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    5. Smith, Tom, 2012. "Option-implied probability distributions for future inflation," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 52(3), pages 224-234.
    6. Matthew Raskin, 2013. "The effects of the Federal Reserve's date-based forward guidance," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Andrade, P. & Ghysels, E. & Idier, J., 2012. "Tails of Inflation Forecasts and Tales of Monetary Policy," Working papers 407, Banque de France.

    More about this item

    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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