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The Price of Political Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence from the Option Market

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  • Bryan Kelly
  • Lubos Pastor
  • Pietro Veronesi

Abstract

We empirically analyze the pricing of political uncertainty, guided by a theoretical model of government policy choice. To isolate political uncertainty, we exploit its variation around national elections and global summits. We find that political uncertainty is priced in the equity option market as predicted by theory. Options whose lives span political events tend to be more expensive. Such options provide valuable protection against the price, variance, and tail risks associated with political events. This protection is more valuable in a weaker economy and amid higher political uncertainty. The effects of political uncertainty spill over across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan Kelly & Lubos Pastor & Pietro Veronesi, 2014. "The Price of Political Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence from the Option Market," NBER Working Papers 19812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19812
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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