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Anticipations of Foreign Exchange Volatility and Bid-Ask Spreads

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  • Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

The paper studies the effect of the market's perceived exchange rate volatility on bid-ask spreads. The anticipated volatility is extracted from currency options data. An increase in the perceived volatility is found to widen bid-ask spreads. The direction of the effect is consistent with an option model of the spread, but the magnitude is smaller. An increase in trading volume of spot exchange rates also widens the spread. The omission of the trading volume, however, does not bias the estimate of the effect of the volatility on the spreads. Although the spread-volatility relation implied by the option model of the spread is close to linear, some form of nonlinearity can still be detected from the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Shang-Jin Wei, 1994. "Anticipations of Foreign Exchange Volatility and Bid-Ask Spreads," NBER Working Papers 4737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4737
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Black, Stanley W., 1991. "Transactions costs and vehicle currencies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 512-526, December.
    2. Boothe, Paul M, 1988. "Exchange Rate Risk and the Bid-Ask Spread: A Seven Country Comparison," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 485-492, July.
    3. Glassman, Debra, 1987. "Exchange rate risk and transactions costs: Evidence from bid-ask spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 479-490, December.
    4. Robert C. Merton, 2005. "Theory of rational option pricing," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 8, pages 229-288 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, January.
    6. Lyons, Richard K., 1995. "Tests of microstructural hypotheses in the foreign exchange market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 321-351.
    7. Melvin, Michael & Tan, Kok-Hui, 1996. "Foreign Exchange Market Bid-Ask Spreads and the Market Price of Social Unrest," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 329-341, April.
    8. Lyons, Richard K., 1988. "Tests of the foreign exchange risk premium using the expected second moments implied by option pricing," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 91-108, March.
    9. Glosten, Lawrence R, 1987. " Components of the Bid-Ask Spread and the Statistical Properties of Transaction Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(5), pages 1293-1307, December.
    10. David S. Bates, "undated". "Pricing Options Under Jump-Diffusion Processes," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 37-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Giampaolo Galli & Alberto Giovannini, 1996. "Introduction to "The Microstructure of Foreign Exchange Markets"," NBER Chapters,in: The Microstructure of Foreign Exchange Markets, pages 1-18 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alexander Mende, 2006. "09/11 on the USD/EUR foreign exchange market," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 213-222.
    3. Detken, Carsten & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "The Euro and International Capital Markets," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 53-94, April.
    4. Gabriele Galati, 2000. "Trading volumes, volatility and spreads in foreign exchange markets: evidence from emerging market countries," BIS Working Papers 93, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Shang-Jin Wei & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1991. "Are Option-Implied Forecasts of Exchange Rate Volatility Excessively Variable?," NBER Working Papers 3910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 1994. "Insignificant and Inconsequential Hysteresis: The Case of the U.S. Bilateral Trade," NBER Working Papers 4738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Geir H. Bjønnes & Dagfinn Rime & Haakon O. Aa. Solheim, 2002. "Volume and Volatility in the FX-Market: Does it matter who you are?," CESifo Working Paper Series 786, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Hua, Mingshu, 2009. "A study on foreign exchange dealers' bid-ask spread quote behavior," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 506-523, September.
    9. Hartmann, Philipp, 1998. "Do Reuters spreads reflect currencies' differences in global trading activity?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 757-784, October.
    10. Torbjorn I. Becker & Amadou N Sy, 2005. "Were Bid-Ask Spreads in the Foreign Exchange Market Excessive During the Asian Crisis?," IMF Working Papers 05/34, International Monetary Fund.

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    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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