IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Implied Exchange Rate Distributions: Evidence from OTC Option Markets

  • Jose M. Campa
  • P.H. Kevin Chang
  • Robert L. Reider

This paper uses a rich new data set of option prices on the dollar-mark, dollar-yen, and key EMS cross-rates to extract the entire risk-neutral probability density function (pdf) over horizons of one and three months. We compare three alternative smoothing methods---cubic splines, an implied binomial tree (trimmed and untrimmed), and a mixture of lognormals---for transforming option data into the pdf. Despite their methodological ifferences, the three approaches lead to a similar pdf distinct from the lognormal benchmark, and usually characterized by skewness and leptokurtosis. We then document a striking positive correlation between skewness in these pdfs and the spot rate. The stronger a currency the more expectations are skewed towards a further appreciation of that currency. We interpret this finding as a rejection that these exchange rates evolve as a martingale, or that they follow a credible target zone, explicit or implicit. Instead, this this positive correlation is consistent with target zones with endogenous realignment risk. We discuss two interpretations of our results on skewness: when a currency is stronger, the actual probability of further large appreciation is higher, or because of risk, such states are valued more highly.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6179.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of International Money and Finance, Vol. 17, no. 1 (February 1998): 117-160.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6179
Note: IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Grundy, R.D., 1991. "Option Prices and the Underlying Asset's Return Distribution," Weiss Center Working Papers 11-91, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  2. Kroner, Kenneth F. & Kneafsey, Devin P. & Claessens, Stijn & DEC, 1993. "Forecasting volatility in commodity markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1226, The World Bank.
  3. Campa, J.M. & Chang, P.H.K., 1995. "The Forecasting Ability of Correlations Implied in Foreign Exchange Options," Papers 95-26, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  4. Bruce D. Grundy, . "Option Prices and the Underlying Asset's Return Distribution (Reprint 012)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 11-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  5. Campa, J.M. & Chang, P.H.K., 1995. "Arbitrage-Based Tests of Target Zone Credibility: Evidence from ERM Cross-Rate Options," Papers 95-25, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  6. Malz, Allan M., 1996. "Using option prices to estimate realignment probabilities in the European Monetary System: the case of sterling-mark," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 717-748, October.
  7. Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of State-Price Densities Implicit in Financial Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 5351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Breeden, Douglas T & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1978. "Prices of State-contingent Claims Implicit in Option Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 621-51, October.
  9. Heston, Steven L, 1993. "A Closed-Form Solution for Options with Stochastic Volatility with Applications to Bond and Currency Options," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(2), pages 327-43.
  10. Engel, Charles & Hamilton, James D, 1990. "Long Swings in the Dollar: Are They in the Data and Do Markets Know It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 689-713, September.
  11. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "Hypothesis Testing with Efficient Method of Moments Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 777-87, October.
  12. Louis O. Scott, 1992. "The Information Content of Prices in Derivative Security Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 596-625, September.
  13. Grundy, Bruce D, 1991. " Option Prices and the Underlying Asset's Return Distribution," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 1045-69, July.
  14. Melick, William R. & Thomas, Charles P., 1997. "Recovering an Asset's Implied PDF from Option Prices: An Application to Crude Oil during the Gulf Crisis," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 91-115, March.
  15. Lamoureux, Christopher G & Lastrapes, William D, 1993. "Forecasting Stock-Return Variance: Toward an Understanding of Stochastic Implied Volatilities," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(2), pages 293-326.
  16. JosÈ B. Campa & P.H. Kevin Chang & Robert L. Reider, 1997. "ERM bandwidths for EMU and after: evidence from foreign exchange options," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(24), pages 53-89, 04.
  17. Hsieh, David A, 1989. "Modeling Heteroscedasticity in Daily Foreign-Exchange Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(3), pages 307-17, July.
  18. Peter A. Abken, 1995. "Using Eurodollar futures options: gauging the market's view of interest rate movements," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Mar, pages 10-30.
  19. Hull, John C & White, Alan D, 1987. " The Pricing of Options on Assets with Stochastic Volatilities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 281-300, June.
  20. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1992. "An Interpretation of Recent Research on Exchange Rate Target Zones," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
  21. Chiras, Donald P. & Manaster, Steven, 1978. "The information content of option prices and a test of market efficiency," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2-3), pages 213-234.
  22. Jorion, Philippe, 1995. " Predicting Volatility in the Foreign Exchange Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 507-28, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6179. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.